Express rail solution urged

Express rail solution urged

The Government has urged the MTR Corporation to propose a comprehensive and practicable solution for overruns in the Express Rail Link Hong Kong section and to better manage the risks involved.

The call comes after the corporation’s Independent Board Committee, which was set up to review delays in the high speed rail project, published its second report.

The report consists of two independent experts’ findings and conclusions on matters concerning the rail project’s management, as well as the committee’s recommendations.

Following those findings, the Government issued a statement today noting that the experts and the corporation have differing views on the revised construction schedule and cost estimates.

Part of The MTR's Express rail link

Part of The MTR’s Express rail link

In May the corporation provided the Government with preliminary information on its revised schedule for commissioning the high speed rail link by the end of October 2017. The Highways Department considers that the revised schedule can be reached, provided that critical contracts can meet targets and major conditions are satisfied.

The rail corporation’s latest estimated cost for the project is $71.52 billion, including project management costs. The department has requested that the rail firm provide further information for it to make an assessment, and will report to the Legislative Council and the public after completing the review.

Regarding approved project estimate overruns and responsibility for bearing the costs, the Government will act in accordance with the Entrustment Agreement and reserve all rights to pursue the warranties and obligations from the corporation.

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