Date
22 August 2017
Leong Kwok-kuen says MTR Corp. will handle any claims related to construction delays in the high-speed rail project. Photo: HKEJ
Leong Kwok-kuen says MTR Corp. will handle any claims related to construction delays in the high-speed rail project. Photo: HKEJ

MTR to work with govt on spiraling high-speed rail cost

Hong Kong’s sole railway operator will ramp up construction of new lines, deploy more trains during non-peak hours and improve service quality, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday, citing its newly appointed chief executive.

Leong Kwok-kuen, who assumed his role as acting chief executive of MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) on Monday, said his main focus will be the completion of five new railway lines and improvements in overall services.

Also, MTR will field an additional 600 trains a week on six routes during non-peak hours starting Aug. 29.

These are Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tung Chung Line and West Rail.

Leong said MTR will work closely with the government to decide how the extra cost of a planned high-speed railway should be shared.

The project, which has been hounded by delays, is expected to cost HK$71.5 billion (US$9.23 billion), HK$6.5 billion more than the original estimate.

The additional expenditure covers increased payroll and material costs and contingencies relating to environmental issues and underground foundation work, the report said.

The company will handle any claims relating to construction delays, Leong was quoted as saying.

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