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designing hong kong
Killed: MTR stations in Aberdeen, Wah Fu and Cyberport.

Recent changes in the plans for the South Island Line kill the prospect of MTR stations in Aberdeen, Wah Fu and Cyberport. If not reversed, it will only be a matter of time before Route 4 (aka 7) through Kennedy Town and Pok Fu Lam appears back on the agenda.

MTR line disappears as changes are made to appease the Rehab and Seminary in Wong Chuk Hang.

The South Island Line consists of an East and a West section which overlap in Wong Chuk Hang where the depot will be located. To save money, the rail will run over viaducts between Aberdeen Tunnel and Ap Lei Chau.

The original plans show three viaducts in Wong Chuk Hang: two for the South Island Line to Ap Lei Chau and one (below, in the middle) for the rail service to Aberdeen, Wah Fu, Cyberport and the University.

In the latest plan (click here for LegCo paper) the tracks have been lowered and moved in response to pressure from the Rehabilitation Centre and the Seminary on Welfare Road. At the same time, without notice or clarification, the viaduct for the MTR to Aberdeen has been deleted from the plan.

Constrained by private property, Heung Yip Road, strategic electricity cables, the nullah and the new rail viaduct to Ap Lei Chau adding tracks to Aberdeen, Wah Fu, Cyberport and the University will be impossible in the future.

MTRC and Transport Bureau refuse to explain how Aberdeen, Wah Fu and Cyberport can be connected with an elevated station in Wong Chuk Hang.

We reported last year that the gradient of a link between an elevated station in Wong Chuk Hang and an underground station in Aberdeen will be beyond safe rail operating standards. (Click here for Engineering Report, see point 16.)   Engineers now estimate that the gradient will be over 6% which is unsuitable for passenger services. MTRC and transport officials refuse to explain how the viaduct of the South Island Line (East) can connect with an underground station in Aberdeen on the basis that ‘the South Island Line (West) is outside the scope of the South Island Line (East) project.’

There is one solution which benefits everyone: The tunnel option.

By building both the East and West section of South Island Line entirely underground, connecting Aberdeen, Wah Fu and Cyberport with the MTR network and depot in Wong Chuk Hang will be easy.

Change the depot design to avoid delay and 3 years of excavation.

The tunnel option will increase the cost by an estimated HK$2.86bln. The following simple schematic shows that the feared large scale and time consuming excavation and disturbance to the Police facilities can be avoided by changing the design and keeping the depot only above ground.

Concerned residents and members of the Legislative and District Councils have asked for more information.

The MTRC and Transport Bureau have been asked for studies of alternative design options for the depot to avoid lengthy delays in building a rail tunnel. The response is that this outside the scope of South Island Line (East) project.

The residents of Wong Chuk Hang, Ap Lei Chau, Shouson Hill, Aberdeen, Wah Fu and Pok Fu Lam deserve better answers.

Read our (August) (September) newsletters for more information on the South Island Line.
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