MTR will add two new stations to the Tung Chung Line after Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor gave the go-ahead for the Tung Chung Line Extension Project.
The HK$18.7 billion (in December 2016 prices) project will see MTR extend the line 1.3 km to a new station, Tung Chung West, west of Tung Chung, and build an intermediate station between Sunny Bay and Tung Chung, named Tung Chung East. The company will also extend the Airport Express line to allow increased service frequency on the Tung Chung Line in the future.
An MTR spokesman says the project will be built under an ownership model, contrasting with the concession model applied to the controversy-hit Sha Tin to Central Link – that project suffered HK$10 billion cost overruns, shoddy work and repeated delays, with lawmakers, government and MTR still arguing on how to divide up the excess bill. Under an ownership model, MTR will finance, design, construct, operate, own and maintain the railway.
Construction will start in 2023 and will take six years, with ribbon-cutting at the new stations planned for 2029.
MTR says the project will serve new developments in the Tung Chung area, including a planned 130-hectare reclamation and housing project that will support an additional population of around 126,000. “The Tung Chung Line Extension project, including the two proposed stations, will offer direct railway access to the Tung Chung New Town Extension in support of the long-term, sustainable growth in population and employment opportunities in that area,” said a spokesman.
The Tung Chung Line extension is one of the seven recommended railway schemes under the Railway Development Strategy 2014 – which are together expected to take rail to around 45 to 50% of all trips made in Hong Kong by 2031, with a correspondingly lower proportion of road transport journeys.