Central-Admiralty MTR suspension ‘may last into Tuesday’, HK’s rail operator says, after train crash

19-Mar-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A key MTR link between two major stations on Hong Kong Island may not resume on Tuesday after services were knocked out by a train crash on the city’s subway network on Monday.

The Tsuen Wan line between Central and Admiralty was suspended after the accident in the early hours, in which two trains were badly damaged and one was derailed, injuring at least one of the drivers. No passengers were on board either train.

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Dr Tony Lee Kar-yun, chief of operations engineering at the MTR Corporation, said on Monday afternoon the operator might not be able to resume services by Tuesday morning.

“We will use the remaining time today to check how to use the three non-traffic hours tonight to remove the damaged cars,” he said.

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“We believe we might need more time tomorrow so we might not be able to reopen the Tsuen Wan line section of Central station for service.”

The company said it was investigating the cause of the accident.

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The rare incident took place near Central station at about 3am when a Tsuen Wan-bound train hit a Central-bound train at the crossover section during a trial run for a new signalling system.

The corporation’s chief of operating Alan Cheng Kwan-hing said the trains dealt glancing blows to each other, rather than crashing head-on.

Hong Kong Federation of Railway Trade Unions vice-chair Tam Kin-chiu revealed the trains involved were running at about 30km per hour, the normal speed for a train approaching a station.

Tam said the incident was worrying and probably caused by a flaw in the signalling system, saying one of drivers followed the signals and pushed the emergency button when he detected something wrong.

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He added both trains were operating on computer-control mode and should not have been allowed to travel side by side.

“If not for the alertness of the driver who quickly pressed the emergency button, the collision would have been more serious,” Tam said.

Other MTR lines were still running as normal by noon on Monday.

Passengers for Central on the Tsuen Wan line had to change at Admiralty onto the Island line, which also connects the two stations.

“Let me stress again that passengers’ safety is the first priority,” an MTR Corp spokesman said.



Category: Hong Kong

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