The Tung Chung line is one of the eleven lines of the MTR system in Hong Kong, linking Tung Chung with Hong Kong Island. A part of the Tung Chung line was built along with the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and the Tsing Ma Bridge. The line currently travels through eight stations in 27 minutes along its route. The line is indicated by the colour orange.
In October 1989, the Hong Kong government decided to replace the overcrowded Kai Tak International Airport, located in Kowloon, with a new airport to be constructed at Chek Lap Kok. The government also invited the MTR, then called the MTRC, to build a train line to the airport called the Lantau Airport Railway. The project did not begin until the Chinese government and the British government settled financial and land disagreements in November 1994.
The Lantau Airport Railway became two MTR lines, the Tung Chung line and the Airport Express, both lines being served by A-Stock trains with dedicated interior fittings and liveries. On 21 June 1998, the Tung Chung line was officially opened by Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, and service commenced the next day.
On 16 December 2003, an open house for charity took place at the recently completed Nam Cheong station, an interchange station between the Tung Chung line and the West Rail line (then the KCR West Rail). The station closed on 19 December 2003 in preparation for the opening of West Rail, and it was officially opened to the public on 20 December 2003. At the same time, the number of cars per train increased from seven to eight.
Between 2006 and 2007, four new Korean-built K-Stock trains were added to the Tung Chung line to improve service frequency. The first train was received on 9 February 2006 and entered service on 12 June 2006. However, since the new trains were found to be a few millimetres wider than the existing trains, some modifications were made to station platforms.
The Tung Chung line, unlike most urban MTR lines, is mostly above ground, and unlike other MTR lines, which are approximately 15 km on average length, this line has a total length of just over 30 km. At the same time, most of the line runs along the Airport Express. The Tung Chung line runs from the east to west. The line is underground from Hong Kong station and crosses the harbour to Kowloon station. The line then emerges to the surface outside Olympian City 2, to reach Olympic station at the surface.
After Olympic station, the line runs at ground level beneath the West Kowloon Expressway, stopping at Nam Cheong station. Then, the line rises above the ground onto a viaduct, which is also built under the West Kowloon Expressway. The viaduct leads into a tunnel in the hills near Lai King. It emerges shortly at Lai King station to provide cross platform interchange with the Tsuen Wan line.
The line remains on viaduct past Lai King station, and crosses Rambler Channel on the Tsing Lai Bridge to Tsing Yi Island, where it enters Tsing Yi station. Having passed Tsing Yi station, the line enters another tunnel through the hills of Tsing Yi. It travels on the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge, crossing Ma Wan island but no stops within the island.
Eventually, the line leaves the tunnel and travels on the surface along the North Lantau Expressway. It stops at Sunny Bay station on the way. The line then shares tracks with the Airport Express before splitting from it just before it reaches Tung Chung New Town. Having re-entered the tunnel, the line terminates at Tung Chung station, located underground.
With a displacement of over 10 km between Sunny Bay and Tung Chung, and no intermediate stations within this section of the track (other than the Siu Ho Wan depot), it takes about 6 minutes to travel between these stations. There are currently no intermediate stations within this section of the track because there are no suitable sites or facilities nearby.
Some westbound trains terminate at Tsing Yi station from Hong Kong, and does not continue to Tung Chung and Sunny Bay, because of the tight capacity of the Tsing Ma Bridge shared with trains of the Airport Express, which limits 1 train on each track on the bridge.
Tung Chung line Train at Sunny Bay station
Tung Chung line A-Stock Train
Exterior of Tung Chung station
Upper platform level of Lai King station
Olympic station concourse
Kowloon station, Tung Chung line platform
Hong Kong station, Tung Chung line platform
The following is a list of the stations on the Tung Chung line.
|Livery and name||District||Connections||Opening date|
|Tung Chung line|
|Hong Kong||Central and Western||Airport Express
Central station for Tsuen Wan line and Island line
|22 June 1998|
|Kowloon||Yau Tsim Mong||Airport Express|
|Nam Cheong||Sham Shui Po||West Rail line||20 December 2003|
|Lai King||Kwai Tsing||Tsuen Wan line||10 May 1982 (Tsuen Wan line)
22 June 1998 (Tung Chung line)
|Tsing Yi||Airport Express||22 June 1998|
|Sunny Bay||Tsuen Wan||Disneyland Resort line||1 June 2005|
|Tung Chung||Islands||Ngong Ping Cable Car||22 June 1998|
The Tung Chung line was designed to facilitate an extension from Hong Kong station eastward. According to the Rail Projects Under Planning 2000 released by Hong Kong Highways Department, three new stations, Tamar, Exhibition Centre and Causeway Bay North, will form part of the extension. The line will then connect North Point station and merge into the Tseung Kwan O line. However 14 years later on the Railway Development Strategy 2014 Tamar station would become the terminus for both the Tseung Kwan O line and Tung Chung line while Exhibition and Causeway Bay North stations would be served by the Tseung Kwan O line.
Residents of Yat Tung Estate have appealed to the government to extend the Tung Chung line to Tung Chung West station near Yat Tung to ease their transportation problems. Yat Tung currently has 40,000 residents. They claimed that when they moved in 11 years ago, the Housing Bureau's documents indicated a MTR station at the estate. The residents currently have to take a 10-minute bus journey to Tung Chung station.
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