MTR closes in on Tuen Ma Line opening

The MTR Corporation has said testing is complete on the next phase of its Tuen Ma Line, with reports late on Wednesday suggesting it could open as soon as the end of June.

The long-delayed project will see phase one of the line, covering the former Ma On Shan Line and stops at Diamond Hill and Kai Tak, extend to Hung Hom, via new stations at Sung Wong Toi and To Kwa Wan, as well as Ho Man Tin. At Hung Hom, the route will join the West Rail to Tuen Mun.

However reports say the extension of the East Rail Line, which was due to be completed early next year, may be delayed again. Two major pieces of work are said to remain on the cross-harbour section from Hung Hom to Admiralty.

Speaking ahead of the MTR’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, MTR chief Jacob Kam said testing had been concluded and the corporation was awaiting the government’s go-ahead for the opening date.

Kam also said the corporation was ready to resume services to the mainland as soon as officials reopen the border.

“As to the opening, or reopening, of the boundary, this will be the decision between the mainland government and Hong Kong goverment. We will, of course, get ready to provide the cross-boundary service as soon as the governments have agreed to reopen the boundary.”

MTR officials are still declining to say how much compensation they expect to receive from the government for losses suffered because of the suspension.

The rail company added that it plans to invest $100 billion in building new rail lines and property development over the next decade.

The Tuen Ma Line had been earmarked for completion in 2019 but has faced a series of delays, including a construction scandal at Hung Hom Station.