MTR Tsuen Wan Line service returns to normal

March 20, 2019 16:05
The first Tsuen Wan-bound MTR train after the suspension left Central Station at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday; inset: a train carriage that figured in the collision was put back on the tracks. Photo: TVB News/MTR Corp.

MTR’s Tsuen Wan Line is back in normal operation after its service between Central and Admiralty stations was suspended on Monday and Tuesday due to a train collision and derailment during a trial run.

Services on the rest of the line, which were also disrupted for two days, have also been fully restored.

The first Tsuen Wan-bound train after the suspension left Central Station at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

One of the train carriages that figured in the collision was put back on the tracks and towed away with the other train from the accident scene, which was near Central Station. The operation, along with repair work, was completed early Wednesday morning, MTR said.

The collision, which was the first of its kind since MTR began operations in 1979, has prompted the railway operator to form an investigation panel to look into the cause of the accident.

On Wednesday morning, MTR operations director Adi Lau Tin-shing said the two damaged trains had been removed and would be taken to a depot after a thorough inspection by engineers.

MTR chairman Frederick Ma Shi-hang, who will leave his post on June 30, and Lau visited Central Station at around 8 am on Wednesday. Ma thanked the MTR staff for their tireless work and the Fire Services Department (FSD) for its assistance.

Ma said it took some time for the train services to return to normal and thanked passengers for their patience.

During a session with lawmakers at the Legislative Council on Wednesday morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she thanked the MTR staff for their tireless work in restoring the MTR service over the past few days, as well as the FSD for its help.

Responding to a reporter's question, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the government will observe the existing mechanism in imposing penalties on the rail operator for the incident.

“At the same time, I have to say, in those days when this mechanism was being devised, they might not have considered such a case. Therefore, we need to look into the seriousness of the incident and appropriateness of penalty in due course,” Chan said.

After presiding over an urgent meeting of the MTR board on Tuesday, Ma told media that he is highly dissatisfied with the performance of the contractor who supplied the signaling system, which is now being blamed for the accident.

He said MTR told the contractor that the company reserves all the rights to pursue its obligations.

During the board meeting, Ma said, it was decided that an investigation panel will be formed to look into the circumstances surrounding Monday's incident.

The panel will comprise MTR staff members as well as local and overseas experts. It is expected to submit its final report two or three months later.

Transport chief Chan said that aside from the MTR probe, the government's Electrical and Mechanical Services Department will also conduct its own independent investigation.

Asked whether human error or a flawed system was to blame for the collision, Chan said he doesn't want to speculate because the serious incident needs a very detailed and in-depth probe.

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