[as of 2016 ]


British Colony from: 1842
Transfer to China from: 1997
Population: 7 234 800 (2014)
Location: Hong Kong

Network Stats

Operator: MTR

System opened: 18.09.1988
Gauge: 1435 mm
Track length: 72,4 km. (one-way)
Number of routes: 11
Vehicles: 142

Network map: Official 2016

A classic Light Rail operation with high platforms within Hong Kong's three suburban towns: Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai. All of these towns essentially constitute apartment block developments, except for Yuen Long that boasts some more traditional but nevertheless modern urban areas. Segments of the system between towns have an interurban character. Most lines in Tuen Mun traditionally operate out of the Ferry Pier terminal, however, the ferry service lost its prominence. Nowadays the LRT system mostly acts as a feeder system to the MTR West Rail Metro Line that connects the area to the central Hong Kong.

The Lines of the 5xx series operate within the town of Tuen Mun only (supplemented by the short version 614P and 615P Lines). The Lines of the 6xx series operate between Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. The Lines of the 7xx series operate in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai.

The system is very popular, and passenger patronage is high. Ridership is particularly heavy within the town of Tin Shui Wai. The Lines 610, 614, 614P, 615, 615P operate with single cars only. The Lines 705, 706, 761P serving the northern towns of Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai have the highest rideship and operate with two-car trains only. The Lines 505, 507 operate with single cars, with some two-car trains in-between; while the Line 751 operates with two-car trains with occasional single cars mixed in. Curiously, in all cases of mixed train-composition operation the headway between trains remains the same, meaning that single cars operate overcrowded.

The system is built almost entirely on a reserved right-of-way. There are two small mixed-traffic segments - around the short Yau Oi one-way single track loop line (the Line 751), and between the Tai Hing (North) - Tai Hing (South) Stops (the Lines 507,610). The operation is relatively fast due to minimal traffic interference, however some newest segments in the town of Tin Shui Wai have many traffic signals with no priority for trams, which slows the operation down. The practice of building on air rights above the Light Rail is popular, with a number of loops and the depot yard being built over by apartment blocks.

Rolling Stock

Phase I - Comeng LRV : 70 (1001-1070) [1988] refurbished
Phase II - Kawasaki LRV : 20 cab motors (1071-1090); 10 cabless motors (1201-1210) [1992]
Phase III - A. Goninan LRV : 20 (1091-1110) [1997]
Phase IV - A. Goninan / CSR LRV : 22 (1111-1132) [1997]

The Phase I vehicles are all refurbished with bodies almost identical to those of the Phase IV vehicles. However, the refurbished Phase I cars have rounded rectangular windows, while the Phase IV cars have square ones. The Phase II and Phase III vehicles (and formerly the Phase I cars) have identical bodies, however the Phase III cars have old green destination signs, while all other car types have new orange signs. The Phase II, III and IV cars have emergency doors in the rear, while the Phase I cars have large emergency exit windows. The Phase II group is the only one to include 10 cabless motor trailers, as for all other car groups the second car is a standard motor car with the cab.



Last updated: 20-May-2016
© 2002 Author: Yury Maller - Usage of material found herein for public display is possible with authors' permission only.