HKU Station on the extended Island Line will open at the end of December, becoming the first station in Hong Kong’s commuter rail network to feature “Lift-only Entrances”.
Passengers will need to take a 30-second ride in one of several lifts to reach 70-meter-deep platforms at the station, Ming Pao Daily reported.
A total of 12 lifts have been installed in the unpaid area to connect the station concourse level with Pok Fu Lam Road and the University of Hong Kong.
Twelve 28-passenger-capacity fireproof lifts will be used for evacuating passengers in case of fire accidents. The stations have extra fire and smoke protection devices such as fire curtains, pressurized refuge lift lobbies and protected staircases to enhance passenger safety during emergency situations.
Meanwhile at Sai Ying Pun, which will be the next lift-only entrances station to come on line, eight lifts will serve the Bonham Road and First Street/Second Street entrances.
To ensure smooth flow of people, each lift at the entrances to the HKU and Sai Ying Pun stations is designed with doors on two sides, one for users to enter and the other for exit. Special queuing arrangements will be implemented with clearly marked lift positions and queue lines.
MTR Corp. has drawn lessons from the lift designs of some skyscrapers in the US, and applied stringent liability tests for the 12 lifts at HKU Station. Around 100 people would be able to take the lift to arrive at ground level within 3 to 4 minutes from the fire refuge area, according to tests.
“Located entirely within the unpaid area of the railway, the pedestrian network will make getting around the hilly terrain of Western District on foot more convenient, regardless of whether users take the MTR or not, during normal train service hours,” MTR official Francis Li was quoted as saying.
Earlier this month, MTR announced that the 3-kilometre Island Line extension to Western District will start passenger operations at the end of December.
Of the extension’s three new stations, HKU and Kennedy Town Stations will open next month, while Sai Ying Pun Station is expected to open at the end of the first quarter of 2015
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