Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about KCR as a railway network.
- The KCR East Rail was formerly known as the British Section of the Kowloon-Canton Railway before the opening of the KCR West Rail.
- For KCR as a Corporation, see Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
The Kowloon-Canton Railway, frequently abbreviated as the KCR, is the railway network providing intercity, suburban and rapid transit passenger services in Hong Kong. The first section of the network opened in 1910 and trains were steam hauled. The network has since grown to four lines, 32 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation is responsible for the network's operations, and is in turn fully owned by the Hong Kong Government.
| KCR East Rail|
Between East Tsim Sha Tsui and Lo Wu1
History of the KCR
The Kowloon-Canton Railway started as a rail link between Kowloon and Canton (now Guangzhou) in 1910. Its British Section, the section within Hong Kong's territory, is the present-day East Rail. (The remaining section, the Chinese Section, is the present-day Guangshen (Guangzhou-Shenzhen) Railway , 廣深鐵路).
Originally, the railway went from Tsim Sha Tsui across the border to Canton. When the communists took over mainland China in 1949, the KCR trains no longer crossed the border to get to Canton. Since then, Lo Wu became the terminus.
The British Section opened for service in 1910 as a single track system. When it was opened, trains went from Yau Ma Tei Station (now Mong Kok Station) through the New Territories and up to the China border at Lo Wu. The southern terminus, Kowloon Station in Tsim Sha Tsui opened slightly later.
After the decision to build West Rail, the "British Section" is renamed to East Rail.
Originally the Railway Department of the government was responsible for the operation of KCR. In December 1982 an ordinance was enacted and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), a public corporation wholly-owned by the government, was set up and took over the operation and management of the KCR.
KCR East Rail
Main article - KCR East Rail
Trains for local service on the British Section of the Kowloon-Canton Railway were originally steam powered, but diesel trains were gradually introduced during the 1950s, and by 1962 they had fully replaced all steam trains. In 1973, a moderisation programme was began which included double tracking and electrifying the railway. The first stage of electrification was completed with the start of an inner suburban service between Kowloon station and Sha Tin station on 6 May 1982. One year later, on 15 July 1983 the final section of the railway to Lo Wu was completed and opened by the then Governor, Sir Edward Youde. Diesel locomotives were replaced by electric multiple units.
Inter-city passenger and freight train services to cities in mainland China share most of the tracks of the local service. The service was terminated in 1949 when communist was in power following Chinese civil war. It was resumed in 1979 when the late leader Deng Xiaoping introduced the Open Door Policy.
KCR West Rail
Main article - KCR West Rail
KCR West Rail was proposed in the early 1990s and both the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC, now the MTR Corporation Limited, MTRCL) and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) submitted plans to the government, and the government awarded the project to KCRC, and approved the first phase project in September 1998. Construction began in October 1998 with service commenced on 20 December 2003. It is the first new rail line built by KCRC.
The first phase of West Rail starts at Nam Cheong Station in Sham Shui Po and ends at Tuen Mun Station in Tuen Mun. The 30.5km alignment has 9 stations and costs HK$46.2 billion. It provides interchanges with KCR Light Rail at four stations and MTR Tsuen Wan Line and Tung Chung Line in its urban section.
New trains were bought to run on the new line, and they run in seven cars. Extensions to nine-car trains would be possible. Stations are all air-conditioned and platform screen doors (PSDs) are built to enhance safety.
The patronage of West Rail is not very high. Critics said that the stations are too far away from their living area and needs an extra Light Rail journey. Fares are high and journey time is not so different from travelling by buses. Faulty of the line leading to service suspensions in the first few months of service cannot ensure passenger confidence on its service. KCR has launched campaigns to promote ridership, including reduced fares, a monthly pass and interchange discount with buses and minibuses. Patronage is now riding steadily.
Extension of West Rail, called the Kowloon Southern Link, has been approved to build in 2002 to extend the service to Hung Hom. The second phase of West Rail, the Northern Link , will connect Kam Sheung Road to Lok Ma Chau to connect to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line.
KCR Ma On Shan Rail
Main article - KCR Ma On Shan Rail
The government approved the building of KCR Ma On Shan Rail in mid-1998. Construction started in 2000 and service operated from 21 December 2004. It runs from Tai Wai to Wu Kai Sha with a total of 9 stations. Tai Wai serves as the interchange between East Rail and Ma On Shan Rail.
Most of the line, including stations, were built elevated on reserved lands along the eastern side of Sha Tin and Ma On Shan. Trains running on this line resembles the West Rail ones, but is now in a four-car configuration. Most platforms have infrastructure prepared for eight car trains if patronage increases. Ma On Shan Rail is the first rail line in Hong Kong runs on the right hand side, contrary to left hand side on other lines as well as on roads.
KCR Light Rail
Main article - KCR Light Rail
to be added
KCR Feeder Bus
KCR operates feeder bus services for the better connection between the housing estates or villages and the KCR rail stations. These services include 15 West Rail and Light Rail feeder bus routes, and one residential route (As of March 2005). West Rail and Ligh Rail passengers can ride most of these routes free with the use of the Octopus Card, while others have to pay a fee.
There are also 6 East Rail feeder bus routes, but operated under the franchise of KMB. In the past, they are operated by KCR.
Station facilities & safety
to be added
Fares and tickets
Currently, there are two different fare classes on the KCRC: Adult and concessionary. Only children between the age 3 and 12 or senior citizens 65 years or older qualify for the concessionary rate. Unlike MTR, there is no student concessionary fare for students for KCR, but students living in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai could apply a personalised Octopus card for Light Rail fare discount.
East Rail, Ma On Shan Rail, West Rail and the octopus fare system of Light Rail use a distance-based fare system. That means the charged fare is related to the distance between the starting and destination stations. The fare range for each line is as follows (as of 2005):
- East Rail and Ma On Shan Rail: Adult HK$3.5-$36.5, Concessionary HK$1.5-$18.0
- West Rail (Discounted): Adult HK$4.5-$15.0, Concessionary HK$2.5-$7.5
- Light Rail (Octopus fare): Adult HK$3.7-$5.8, Concessionary HK$1.8-$2.7
Note that the fare for first-class service on East Rail is doubled to the normal services, and a special tariff applies on passengers to Lo Wu which accounts for the higher fare. Fare of West Rail is currently under 10% discount.
Light Rail also implements a zonal fare system on single journey ticket users. There are totally six zones. Adult fare ranges from HK$4.0-$5.8, and concessionary fare ranges from HK$2.0-2.9 (as of 2005).
There are two payment methods:
- Octopus card
- Single Journey Ticket
Main article - Octopus card
In 1998, the MTR and KCR started using the Octopus Access Control System as the main payment method for travel on its network, replacing the Common Stored Value Tickets. Octopus cards are rechargeable, contactless smart cards, thus money is digitally stored in the card, and the amount can be automatically calculated and deducted by Octopus card readers. The system was originally proposed and introduced by the MTR. It has been extended to different services such as minibuses, franchised buses such as the Kowloon Motor Bus and Citybus, supermarkets, and fast food restaurants. It has the potential to be further developed in other fields of services. The older, traditional magnetic ticketing system is also still in use for single journeys.
Using Octopus card to travel on KCR is slightly cheaper than using single journey tickets. Various discount schemes on different lines, and free or discounted transfer to other modes of transport have to be done through Octopus Card.
to be added
Lok Ma Chau Spur Line
The government permitted the spur line project on 14 June 2002, after KCR proposing a better alignment to protect the wetlands in Long Yuen . Construction starts in January 2003 and service commences in mid-2007.
The 7.4km spur line helps relieving the congestion of cross-border ridership at Lo Wu, which connects Sheung Shui and the checkpoint at Lok Ma Chau . The alignment of the branch has been altered for several times to reduce the impact to Long Yuen , a major wetland area near the border where is a paradise for migrating birds. It consists of a bored tunnel from Sheung Shui across Long Yuen, and rises at Chau Tau as viaducts to Lok Ma Chau station. Areas are reserved so that a future station of Kwu Tung can be built as a stop in the spur line. There will be six trains per hour serving from East Tsim Sha Tsui station, and the journey time is 47 minutes.
Lok Ma Chau station will connect to Shenzhen Metro Huanggang station through a double-decker footbridge, and the station itself provides shopping areas, immigration and customs faciilities. It will also serves as the terminus for other transport modes.
Kowloon Southern Link
The 4.5km Kowloon Southern Link will connect the West Rail Nam Cheong station with the East Rail East Tsim Sha Tsui station with an intermediate stop at West Kowloon . Upon completion, West Rail will run to Hung Hom station and East Rail will retreat its service back to Hung Hom. The station will become the interchange between East Rail, West Rail and the proposed Sha Tin to Central Link. Journey time from Tin Shui Wai to East Tsim Sha Tsui will be 30 minutes.
Disputes on the funding and location of Canton Road station in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was in the proposed alignment, has pushed the construction a year later to 2005. The new link will start operation in 2009.
Sha Tin to Central Link
On June 25 2002 the government announced that KCRC had won its bid to build and operate the Sha Tin to Central Link . When the line is completed , the KCRC will cross Victoria Harbour and reach Hong Kong Island for the first time.
- Transportation in Hong Kong
- List of buildings, sites and areas in Hong Kong
- List of Hong Kong KCRC stations
From KCRC Homepage
- KCRC - New Projects: Lok Ma Chau Spur Line From KCRC homepage. Retrieved 28 February 2005.
- KCRC - New Projects: Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Station From KCRC homepage. Retrieved 28 February 2005.
- KCRC - New Projects: Kowloon Southern Link From KCRC homepage. Retrieved 28 February 2005.
- Kowloon Southern Link (PDF) Papers of Subcommittee on matters relating to railways, Legislative Council. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 28 February 2005.
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