MTR Corp Limited has announced that the HK$16.9 billion South Island Line officially opens on December 28, when office workers return to work after the three-day Christmas holiday.
An open day will be held on Christmas Eve, when people can visit and check out the four new stations on the line – Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons – as well as the new interchange platforms in Admiralty Station.
MTRCL chief executive Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen said the line will mean MTR services will cover all 18 districts in Hong Kong, but he dismissed questions that the chosen opening date was to avoid the crowded Christmas peak season.
Operations director Adi Lau Tin- shing said teething problems, including signaling faults, are expected on the new line – which could carry 170,000 passengers daily – as it takes time for the new railway to fire on all cylinders.
Lau admitted Admiralty Station is likely to become more crowded after the new line opens, therefore platforms will be expanded to increase capacity, while there will be train service enhancement during non-rush hours on the Island Line and Kwun Tong Line from mid- December.
Southern District councilor Henry Chai Man-hon said residents should expect a longer traveling time in the first few days as he worries Admiralty Station will be crowded with people heading to work.
Admiralty, an interchange station for the Tsuen Wan and Island lines, will become the biggest interchange station with an area of 65,000 square meters and six stories after the new line opens. It’s 43 meters deep – equivalent to 16 to 17 floors.
It will also be an interchange station for the Sha Tin to Central Link when it opens in 2021.
Passengers will have to ride at least three escalators to get to the concourse. There are also no elevators direct to the South Island Line platform.
Earlier, the Kwun Tong Line had 10-minute delays in the late morning following a signaling fault near Ho Man Tin Station, which has operated for less than two months.
Meanwhile, MTRCL said yesterday the estimated costs for advanced railway works of the Sha Tin to Central Link was adjusted to HK$7.1 billion, meaning an extra HK$847 million on the HK$6.2 billion initial estimates.
Gates to open for South Island line after Christmas.