- Light Rail (MTR)
No. of stations 68 Type Light rail Line length 36.2 km Districts Tuen Mun, Yuen Long Opened 18 September 1988 Voltage DC 750 V Track gauge 1435 mm West Rail Line Yuen Long ■ Tai Tong Road Hong Lok Road Fung Nin Road ■ Long Ping Shui Pin Wai Fare zone 5 Tin Heng Tin Yat, Wetland Park Tin Fu, Tin Sau Chung Fu, Tin Yuet Fare zone 5A Chestwood Fare zone 4 Tin Shui, Tin Wing Ginza Locwood, Tin Wu Tin Tsz, Ping Shan Tin Yiu, Tin Shui Wai ■, Tong Fong Tsuen Hang Mei Tsuen Hung Shui Kiu Fare zone 4 Chung Uk Tsuen Fare zone 3 Nai Wai Lam Tei Siu Hong ■ Kei Lun Kin Sang, Ching Chung Tin King Leung King, Tuen Mun Hospital, Fung Tei Fare zone 3 San Wai Affluence, Prime View Fare zone 2 Tai Hing (North), Tai Hing (South), Ngan Wai Shek Pai Stop, Choy Yee Bridge, San Hui Shan King (North) Ming Kum, Ho Tin, Hoh Fuk Tong Shan King (South) Kin On, Pui To Tuen Mun ■ Tsing Wun, Town Centre Tsing Shan Tsuen, Yau Oi, On Ting Fare zone 2 Lung Mun, Siu Lun Fare zone 1 Tuen Mun Depot, Goodview Garden Light Rail Depot, Tuen Mun Swimming Pool, Sam Shing Butterfly, Siu Hei Melody Garden, Tuen Mun Ferry Pier
The MTR Light Rail, also known Light Rail Transit (LRT), is a light rail system in Hong Kong, serving the northwestern New Territories, within and between Tuen Mun District and Yuen Long District. It used to be one of four systems of the KCR network in Hong Kong.
The LRT should not be confused with the Hong Kong Tramways.
Planning and commencement
When Tuen Mun was developed in the 1970s, the Hong Kong government had set aside space for the laying of rail tracks. There was uncertainty however as to which company would be commissioned to build the train line. In 1982 Hong Kong Tramways showed interest in building the system and running double-decker trams on it, before finally being forced to abandon the project. Later that year, the KCRC decided to build the system. After some research, construction commenced in 1985.
By that time, Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) had developed its own network in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, and there were about 10 routes serving within the district internally, most of them profitable. However, the government introduced the concept of the "Light Rail Service Area" in both districts, forcing the KMB to withdraw all internal bus services in favour of the Light Rail. It also forced the KMB to impose boarding and alighting restrictions for external routes. It was decided that services between town centres and settlements would be provided solely by the Light Rail, while feeder buses operated by the KCRC would connect remote sites to the network, replacing KMB's equivalent services where applicable.
The system was completed and fully operational in September 1988. The first section was opened to the public on 14 September 1988, with free rides Tuen Mun and Yuen Long; normal, all-day service began four days later, on September 18. The system consisted of two large and three small loops serving most of the public housing estates in northern Tuen Mun. Three branches: one to On Ting Estate in the southeast, one to the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier in the southwest, and another northern branch all the way into the town of Yuen Long along Castle Peak Road. It was then known as Light Rail Transit, or LRT, and is also called as the North-west Railway according to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Ordinance.
The system was divided into five fare zones, the only transit system in Hong Kong to employ such zoning. The feeder buses have fares independent of these zones, but provide discounts when passengers interchange between these buses and LRT. 70 single-deck LRVs were manufactured in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia by Comeng, and shipped to Hong Kong for the seven LRT routes in the system. Three of the routes were to Yuen Long and the others were confined to Tuen Mun.
The system's first extension came for the southern and eastern parts of Tuen Mun. The eastern extension branches off the main line south of Siu Hong Stop and crosses the river that runs through Tuen Mun immediately with a flyover. The line then runs along Castle Peak Road to a road north of the town centre, where it climbs to another flyover and rejoins the main route. The northern end of this extension is still the only non-triangular junction in the entire system.
The southern extension mainly consists of a route linking On Ting and Ferry Pier, on the newly reclaimed land near the river mouth of Tuen Mun River, known as "Mouse Island" by locals. A short spur was also built from the extension to another terminus at Sam Shing Estate, located near Castle Peak Bay. Three LRT routes were diverted (route 505 was extended to Sam Shing), and one feeder bus route (route 559) discontinued as a result of these changes.
Tin Shui Wai was originally an area with numerous fish ponds, but was developed as a residential town in the early 1990s. With the increase of internal commuter traffic demand, an LRT spur was built north of Hung Shui Kiu Stop that opened in 1993, with four stops serving the initial housing areas of the town. The area was further developed in the next few years, and the line was extended by two stops: Chestwood and Tin Shui Wai Terminus in 1995 (Tin Shui Wai Terminus was renamed Tin Wing after the opening of West Rail Line). Two LRT routes were established, route 720 to Yau Oi and route 721 to Yuen Long.
West Rail Line
The system remained essentially unchanged until the completion of the West Rail Line in December 2003. Many changes were made, mainly around the new railway stations. The KCRC designed most railway stations in the LRT area to interchange with the new West Rail line. The idea was to encourage passengers to use the West Rail Line instead of the Light Rail for longer journeys to free up LRT vehicles for passengers making shorter journeys. For this purpose, an interchange discount system was launched with the introduction of the West Rail Line system, meaning that passengers would pay no more (and in some cases less) to travel on West Rail Line instead of the LRT for the main part of their journey. Although this most recent extension is the largest ever, no new vehicles were purchased. And although rearrangements were made, some infrequent and unreliable services resulted, causing passengers to blame the lack of vehicles and poor arrangement of new services. The KCRC has since modified the inside of some vehicles to allow more standing room for passengers during peak hours. They have also several route alterations to arrange them better.
Interior_mtr_lightrail1.jpg The system's vehicles consist of four different types of LRVs. All LRVs are 20.2 m. long and have 3 sliding doors fitted the left side (when facing the running direction from inside). This means that island platforms (except the triangular platform at Siu Hong Stop) cannot be used at all in the LRT system.
Phase I LRVs were built by Comeng and put in service in 1988. They are numbered 1001–1070 and accommodate 43 sitting passengers and 161 standees. The driver's cab interior and exterior design was conceived for KCRC by Design Triangle in 1986. Phase II LRVs were built by Kawasaki and entered service in 1992. They are numbered 1071-1090/1201-1210 and accommodate 26 sitting and 185 standees. Cars 1071–1090 are cab cars while 1201–1210 are cabless trailers. Phase III LRVs were built by A. Goninan and entered service in 1997. They are numbered 1091–1110 and accommodate 26 seating and 212 standees. Phase one LRVs have two wheelchair positions while both Phase two and Phase three LRVs have three positions. The newest phase IV LRV's were manufactured by A. Goninan and CSR and entered service by December 2009. They are numbered 1111–1132.
Traction systems for both Phase one and two LRVs consist of GTO thyristor chopper and DC traction motors, supplied by AEG, while drives for the Phase three and four LRVs consist of IGBT VVVF Inverters and AC traction motors provided by Mitsubishi. The maximum speed for all LRVs is 80 km/h, although the rarely reach that speed because of the many grade crossings between stops and the close proximity between stops in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, and Tin Shui Wai.
From the outside it is difficult to differentiate between the first three types of LRVs. There are, however, distinct features that one can use to tell them apart; Phase three LRVs still retain their original electronic displays (green) while all other LRVs have had theirs replaced by new displays (orange). Phase I cars also have a wide window at the rear that can be opened in case of a emergency, while phase II cars have a door at the back. The interior of the phase three cars has a greenish look, and the doors are also green. The Phase IV LRVs have a completely different appearance in contrast to the older phase. It has a white exterior livery with olive green and purple line on the side. The shape of the front of the LRV is more streamlined than the older phases. The door opening and closing mechanism was similar to the ones from the K-class cars used in the Tseung Kwan O line and Tung Chung line. The Phase IV has 3 surveillance cameras in each vehicle. Seat belts and wheelchair positions were also available in the phase IV. On older-generation LRVs there is a poach seat but the phase IVs do not maintain this feature. The Phase IV LRV has orange electronic display. The phase I-III cars are expected to be rebuilt and repainted with a scheme similar to the Phase IV cars.
Stops and routes
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