Date
19 January 2017
Francis Li says the decision to keep restrictions on larger luggage was made to ensure the safety of all passengers. Photo: MTR
Francis Li says the decision to keep restrictions on larger luggage was made to ensure the safety of all passengers. Photo: MTR

MTR eases rules on outsized luggage but the guzheng is still out

Okay, you may now haul your musical instrument of a certain size into the MTR — just don’t bring a guzheng.

The traditional Chinese string instrument is still banned after the railway operator relaxed restrictions on outsized luggage.

It should not be more than 235 cm. wide or 145 cm. long. That’s up from 170 cm. and 130 cm., respectively, according to Apple Daily.

But that still rules out the guzheng.

Janet Chow, chairman of the Hong Kong Professional Zheng Ensemble, said there are not many guzheng shorter than 145 cm.

And Hong Kong Cellist Society president Tsang Fung said the registration process is cumbersome.

The new rules require owners to apply for permits which will be ready in seven working days.

However, the permits cannot be used during the weekday morning rush hour from 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Tsang said the rules discriminate against musicians who might be going to rehearsals or performances during peak times.

Francis Li, MTR head of operations, said the decision was taken to ensure the safety of other passengers.

The move was in response to public complaints after an incident in which a schoolgirl was barred from the Tai Wai MTR station for carrying a guzheng.

A week later, MTR staff stopped a Hong Kong Baptist University student from bringing a cello onto a train.

Earlier this month, dozens of musicians staged a protest concert in the Tai Wai MTR station to demand an end to the “unreasonable practice”.

– Contact us at [email protected]

BT/AC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter