Date
28 June 2017
The power glitch that stopped train service on MTR's Kwun Tong Line on Monday affected more than 100,000 commuters. Photo: HKEJ
The power glitch that stopped train service on MTR's Kwun Tong Line on Monday affected more than 100,000 commuters. Photo: HKEJ

MTR slammed for poor handling of train service failure

A lawmaker criticized MTR Corporation over its handling of the train service failure on Monday, saying it took engineers more than an hour to locate the source of the power glitch that triggered the widespread disruption.

The service interruption plunged road traffic in the East Kowloon region into chaos and affected more than 100,000 commuters during the evening peak hours on Monday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Francis Li, the MTR head of operations, apologized to the public for the service disruption, saying the problem was traced to the malfunctioning of a power cable from the Kowloon Bay depot to Choi Hung station.

He said the company has initiated a thorough inspection of all MTR power lines to prevent a repeat of the power glitch.

Lawmaker Michael Tien, chairman of the Legislative Council’s subcommittee on matters relating to railways, said it was ridiculous that inspectors had to spend more than an hour to locate the cause of the glitch using their naked eyes.

He said the MTR should have adopted more scientific ways of detecting faults in the system.

Li explained that a fixed antenna had been damaged, triggering a safety device that stopped power supply to the overhead cable.

According to Apple Daily, fixing the loosened screws of the problematic antenna only took 10 minutes.

Tien suggested that the MTR increase its “delay recovery measure” in order to reduce the time needed to locate a problem within its system. 

He suspected the MTR had underestimated the time needed to identify the source of the problem, which led to the poor management of passenger evacuations.

The MTR could be penalized with a fine of at least HK$3 million for the incident, Tien said.

Many commuters complain that while the MTR has been hiking its fares, they have seen little or no improvement in its services.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/FC/CG

Buses clog the roads in East Kowloon as commuters switch to other modes of transport after trains on MTR’s Kwun Tong Line broke down due to a power supply failure. Photo: HKEJ


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