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The Sha Tin to Central Link (abbreviated SCL; Chinese: 沙中線; Cantonese Yale: sā jūng sin) is an under-construction expansion of the MTR rapid transit network in Hong Kong. It is divided into two sections.

Sha Tin to Central Link
Shatin to Central Link proposal final.svg
TypeHeavy rail
LocaleDistricts: Sha Tin, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon City, Wan Chai, Central and Western
TerminiTai Wai (through service to Ma On Shan line)
Hung Hom (through service to West Rail line)
Admiralty (Interchange of Island line, Tsuen Wan line and South Island line)
Stations8 (phase 1)
2 (phase 2)
Opened2019; 0 years ago (2019) (phase 1)
2021; 2 years' time (2021) (phase 2)
OwnerHong Kong Government
Operator(s)MTR Corporation
Depot(s)Tai Wai, Hung Hom, Pat Heung
Rolling stockSP1900 EMU, Hyundai Rotem EMU and East West line train
Line length17 km (11 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC
Route map

Colour legend
East Rail line ext. (2021)

Tai Wai
Tai Wai Depot
Hin Keng
Diamond Hill
Kai Tak
Sung Wong Toi[1]
To Kwa Wan[2]
Yau Ma Tei
Ho Man Tin
Hung Hom
Exhibition Centre[3]
Timeline of the Sha Tin to Central Link
Date Event
1960s Predecessor East Kowloon Line was proposed by British consultant Freeman, Fox, Wilbur Smith & Associates
2000 Sha Tin to Central Link first appeared in the government document Railway Development Strategy 2000
2002 KCRC won its bid to build SCL, building an independent line from Tai Wai to Central West
2005 KCRC modified its 2002 plan, making East Kowloon portion of the line join Ma On Shan Rail at Tai Wai and West Rail at Hung Hom. The East Rail would extend to Central West
MTRC submitted a new proposal: extending Kwun Tong Line to Whampoa, and building a new independent line from Tai Wai to Central West (similar to KCRC 2002 plan)
2006 MTR–KCR merge was confirmed. Non-binding memorandum of understanding signed by government and MTRC. Yet, SCL would be built in accordance to KCRC 2005 plan, while Kwun Tong line extension would also be constructed
2007 MTR–KCR merge
2008 MTRC announced a revised proposal, fully funded by government
2012 Executive Council approved and construction began
2015 First rolling stock for East West line arrived in Hong Kong
2016 Kwun Tong line extension commence
11-kilometre tunnel of East West line was fully broken through

The first section (Phase 1) runs from Tai Wai station in the New Territories to Hung Hom station in Kowloon. The Tai Wai–Hung Hom segment will connect the Ma On Shan line and West Rail line, forming the new Tuen Ma line, codenamed “East West Corridor”. Operation was scheduled to begin in mid-2019, but owing to construction issues at Hung Hom station the opening date is currently under review.[4]

In anticipation of the East West Corridor, the existing Kwun Tong line was extended from its previous terminus at Yau Ma Tei station to Whampoa station. This extension includes the new Ho Man Tin station to provide interchange with the East West Corridor. The Kwun Tong line extension was opened on 23 October 2016.[5]

The second section (Phase 2) of the Sha Tin to Central Link runs from Hung Hom station to Admiralty station on Hong Kong Island. The Hung Hom–Admiralty segment will be an extension of the East Rail line. This phase was codenamed the “North South Corridor”. This cross-harbour extension is scheduled to be completed in 2021.[6]



The proposed route of the Sha Tin to Central Link roughly follows the scheme of the original East Kowloon line, which was proposed in the late 1960s but was not constructed.[citation needed] The Shatin to Central Link was included as one of the Priority Railway Schemes in the Hong Kong government's Railway Development Strategy 2000.[7]:35

On 25 June 2002, the government announced that the Kowloon–Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) had won its bid against the MTR Corporation (MTRC) to build and operate the Shatin to Central Link. The route was originally planned to go from Tai Wai station to Central West station (proposed to be located under the Mid-Levels), as an extension of the then-under-construction KCR Ma On Shan Rail (now the Ma On Shan line).

The KCRC announced modifications to the proposal in 2005, with the East Kowloon portion of the line joining KCR Ma On Shan Rail at Tai Wai and KCR West Rail (now the West Rail line) at Hung Hom, with the cross-harbour portion joining KCR East Rail (now the East Rail line) at Hung Hom. Mong Kok Station (now Mong Kok East) would have been relocated, joining a new tunnel to a deeper Hung Hom station platform connecting to the cross-harbour section. Additionally, stations at Tsz Wan Shan and Whampoa Garden were removed from the proposal; the areas would instead have been served by people movers (APMs) from other stations. However, the KCRC's proposal had not yet been finalised.

At the same time, the MTRC submitted a new proposal to the government. According to the proposal, the Kwun Tong line would be extended from Yau Ma Tei station to Whampoa station (as the KCRC had decided to omit Whampoa Garden station from its proposal), and the route of the SCL would follow the KCRC's original proposal instead of the 2005 modified proposal. An underground train depot would have been built beneath the passenger terminal of the former Kai Tak International Airport, adjacent to Prince Edward Road East in Kowloon City; however, under the Kai Tak redevelopment plan released by the government in October 2006, the depot would have to be constructed somewhere else.[8]

MTR–KCR merge planEdit

On 11 April 2006, MTRC signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the government of Hong Kong, the owner of KCRC, to merge the operations of the territory's two railway networks. According to the memorandum, the MTRC-owned MTR lines will be fully integrated with the Shatin to Central Link, which will be part of the MTR system. The government also intended to choose the KCRC's modified proposal to build the railway, that is, extending the current East Rail line to Hong Kong Island. However, final decisions were not made before conducting further studies on the proposal with the MTRC.

The new proposal was announced jointly by both companies on 12 July 2007,[9] before the merger of the two rail networks on 2 December that year. Under this proposal, the depot for the Sha Tin to Central Link would have been built underneath the former Tai Hom Village site between Kai Tak and Diamond Hill stations. The people movers were omitted; Causeway Bay North station was also removed from the proposal due to potential adverse effects on road traffic during construction.

 Stations of previous proposals 
KCRC proposal (2002) KCRC revised proposal (2005) MTRC proposal (2005) KCRC–MTRC proposal (2007)

Ma On Shan Rail East Kowloon Extension

East Rail Cross-harbour Extension

Shatin to Central Link

Kwun Tong line extension

East-west line

North-south line

Kwun Tong line extension


The MTRC announced a revised proposal on 11 March 2008. The government would fund all of the required HK$37.4 billion for construction.[10] The Executive Council approved the construction cost of HK$79.8 billion in March 2012[11][12] and construction began on 22 June 2012.[13] Under the final proposal, the former Hung Hom Freight Yard adjacent to Hung Hom station will be converted into stabling sidings for Sha Tin to Central Link trains, and new access tracks will be constructed to link the Sha Tin to Central Link with the former Hung Hom Freight Yard.[14] Central South station was excluded in the modified plan, as no suitable sites had been found.[7]:39[15] One station at Hin Keng (just south of Tai Wai) was added to the proposal afterwards,[16] to alleviate congestion at Tai Wai station.[14]

Expected commencementEdit

While heavy road traffic on the surface, train tunnel is building underneath at Causeway Bay section

The original commencement date of Phase 1 was 2018; Phase 2 was expected to be completed in 2020 or 2021. Some of the construction work of Phase 2 will follow the completion of Wan Chai Reclamation Phase 2 and Central–Wan Chai Bypass, as there are overlaps between station and tunnels.[17] On November 2014, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung revealed that the project would be delayed by at least another 11 months, caused by archaeological Work at To Kwa Wan station (now renamed as Sung Wong Toi station), and extra enabling works at Exhibition Centre station for topside development. The authority later submitted a document to the Legislative Council, stating Phases 1 and 2 would be completed in 2019 and 2021 respectively.[18]

Construction and facility enhancementEdit

New railway lines and trackEdit

The 11-kilometre tunnel of the East-West Corridor was fully broken through in August 2016.[19]

As of February 2017, construction and tunnel boring is underway for the sections between the Exhibition Centre station and Causeway Bay, and between Causeway Bay and Kowloon. MTRC has set up an Immersed Tube Tunnel Casting Yard at the site of the former Shek O Quarry at the south side of the Hong Kong Island to pre-assemble sections of the tunnel tubes, which will be then transported by sea and immersed in place.[20][21] As June 2017, the first Immersed Tube Tunnel units was installed in Victoria Harbour, marking the beginning of constructing the fourth harbour-crossing railway tunnel in Hong Kong. 11 tube tunnel units in total will be constructed and placed for the harbour crossing section.[22][23]

New signalling systems and station facilitiesEdit

Expansion of City One platform with new platform gates, allowing 8-coach trains to park

Both of the new corridors will receive new signalling systems as part of the Sha Tin to Central Link project. The technology, known as communications-based train control (CBTC), will minimise train intervals while complying with existing and future infrastructure, such as platform doors/gates.

The SP1900 EMU will operate on the East West Corridor

The East West Corridor will use SelTrac CBTC supplied by Thales. This is an updated, more modern version of the Seltrac IS technology already installed on the West Rail line, Ma On Shan line, and Kowloon Southern Link. New on-board computers are being retrofitted to the existing SP1900 trains as part of their modifications to form 8-car trains, supplemented with newly acquired 8-car trains delivered with the new computer already installed. All stations on the Ma On Shan Line have also received half-height platform gates in conjunction with the upgrade, and new underground stations will have full-height platform doors installed.

The North South Corridor will have the TBL train protection and Alstom's ATO system in use on the current East Rail Line including the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line replaced with Trainguard MT CBTC supplied by Siemens.[24] (AWS used by intercity trains on the East Rail Line is not expected to be affected.) At the same time, all platforms would be modified and equipped with half-height platform gates (full-height doors on the new underground stations) to provide level boarding and minimize the gap with the train. Refurbishment and expansion work on platforms and stations will also be carried out.[25]

Admiralty, Diamond Hill and Hung Hom stations, all of which will become major interchanges following full opening of the new lines, will be expanded or relocated to cater to increased demand.

New rolling stockEdit

The R-train will operate on the North South Corridor
The EWL C-train will operate on the East West Corridor

The East West Corridor will operate using a combination of both new and existing rolling stock, while the North South Corridor will have its existing rolling stock fully replaced with new stock.

  • Contract 1141A for 17 8-car C-Trains for the East West Corridor was awarded to CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles in December 2013. Designed in 14 months, the first train, officially named East West Line Train, arrived in Hong Kong in June 2016 and began passenger service on the Ma On Shan Line on 12 March 2017.[26][27]
  • Contract 1141B for 37 9-car R-trains for the North South Corridor was awarded to Hyundai Rotem of South Korea in December 2012.[28][29] The first delivery took place in 2015[30][31] l with all new trainsets in service by 2020,[29] fully replacing the 12-car Metro Cammell EMUs which will then be retired.
  • Contract 1151 for 36 additional SP1900 cars was awarded to Kinki Sharyo of Japan in January 2014. They are being used to convert all SP1900 trains into 8-car formations to serve the East West Corridor.[32][33] Previously, they have operated in 4, 7, and 12-car formations on the existing lines.

New community facilitiesEdit

Tsz Wan Shan station was removed from the 2007 final proposal due to its depth. Because of this, pedestrian facilities with lifts, travellers and covered walkways will be built for the Tsz Wan Shan community, connecting with Diamond Hill station.[34]

On Hong Kong Island, Wan Chai Swimming Pool and Harbour Road Sports Centre were both re-provisioned on alternate sites, as the original buildings were demolished to make way for Exhibition Centre station.[35]

Hongkong Post's International Mail Centre in Hung Hom was also demolished to make way for the line. It was rebuilt in Kowloon Bay and renamed the Central Mail Centre.


The route of the Sha Tin to Central Link, per the 2008 revised proposal

From the Ma On Shan line at Tai Wai station, the East West Corridor will continue southwards on an embankment to Hin Keng station, and then head southeast in tunnel towards Kowloon. After Diamond Hill station, the line will turn southwest and continue in tunnel through Kowloon City to Hung Hom station, interchanging with the Kwun Tong Line extension at Ho Man Tin along the way. At Hung Hom, the East West Corridor will connect to the West Rail line just south of its new platforms at the station and interchange with the North South Corridor.[16]

The North South Corridor will connect to the East Rail line north of Hung Hom station, adjacent to the southern portal of the tunnel under Princess Margaret Road; and will enter a tunnel to new platforms at Hung Hom station, interchanging with the East West Corridor. The line will then traverse under Victoria Harbour, parallel to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, and then continue in tunnel westwards from the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter to Exhibition Centre and Admiralty stations.[16]

The Kwun Tong line extension, an associated project completed in late 2016, is a southeast extension of the Kwun Tong line from Yau Ma Tei station to Ho Man Tin station, where there will be an interchange to the East West Corridor. The line then continues under Wuhu Street and Tak On Street to a single dead-end platform at Whampoa station.[36]


Livery and name District Connections Opening date
Tuen Ma line
Ma On Shan line to Wu Kai Sha
Tai Wai Sha Tin      East Rail line 15 August 1983
Hin Keng 2019
Diamond Hill Wong Tai Sin      Kwun Tong line
Kai Tak Kowloon City
Sung Wong Toi
To Kwa Wan
Ho Man Tin      Kwun Tong line
Hung Hom Yau Tsim Mong      East Rail line
Through Train services to Mainland China
30 November 1975[a]
being relocated 2019
West Rail line to Tuen Mun
East Rail line extension
East Rail line to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau
Hung Hom Yau Tsim Mong      Tuen Ma line
Through Train services to Mainland China
30 November 1975
being relocated 2019
Exhibition Centre Wan Chai      Tseung Kwan O line (North Island line; under planning) 2021
Admiralty Central and Western      Island line,      Tsuen Wan line and
     South Island line
Kwun Tong line extension
Kwun Tong line to Tiu Keng Leng
Yau Ma Tei Yau Tsim Mong      Tsuen Wan line 31 December 1979
Ho Man Tin Kowloon City      Tuen Ma line (2019) 23 October 2016


At initial stage, Sung Wong Toi station was named as To Kwa Wan station, while To Kwa Wan station was named as Ma Tau Wai station.[37] Yet, such naming did not please adjacent community as geographically former To Kwa Wan station was not recognised as part of To Kwa Wan. Therefore, MTR internally amended the naming but had not been revealed to public until 2017 Panel on Transport of Legislative Council.[38]


  1. ^ Originally opened as part of the East Rail Line (then the KCR British Section).


  1. ^ Sung Wong Toi Station was known as "To Kwa Wan Station" during planning.
  2. ^ To Kwa Wan Station was known as "Ma Tau Wai Station" during planning.
  3. ^ Exhibition Centre Station was known as "Exhibition Station" during planning.
  4. ^ "LCQ22: Shatin to Central Link project compensation claims". Hong Kong Government. 23 January 2019.
  5. ^ "MTR Updates Construction Progress on SIL(E) and KTE Railway Projects" (PDF). MTR Corporation. 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ "MTR – Shatin to Central Link - Project Details - Programme". MTR Corporation. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Review and Update of the Railway Development Strategy 2000 – Executive Summary" (PDF). Highways Department of the Government of Hong Kong. September 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Diamond Hill eyed for train depot", The Standard, 13 November 2006.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "政府全資374億建沙中線(A4)". Ming Pao. 12 March 2008.
  11. ^ "行會拍板港鐵沙中綫上馬 (lit. Executive Council has approved Sha Tin to Central Link.)". Sing Tao Daily. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Gazettal of Shatin to Central Link". Press releases. Hong Kong Government. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  13. ^ 政務司司長出席沙中線動工典禮致辭全文 (in Chinese). Hong Kong Government News Archives. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  14. ^ a b "MTR - Shatin to Central Link - FAQ". MTR Corporation. Archived from the original on 26 December 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  15. ^ "政府全資374億建沙中線(A4)". Ming Pao. 12 March 2008.
  16. ^ a b c "MTR - Shatin to Central Link - Project Details - Alignment". MTR Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  17. ^ . Legislative Council. 31 March 2016 沙田至中環線工程的最新進展 沙田至中環線工程的最新進展 Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "港鐵沙中綫通車日期需延遲約一年". 香港電台. 4 March 2015.(in Chinese)
  19. ^ "11-km East-West Corridor tunnel of the Shatin to Central Link broken through" (PDF). MTR Corporation. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ First Tunnel Unit for Shatin to Central Link Cross-Harbour Tunnel Successfully Installed in Victoria Harbour, MTR,20 June 2017.
  23. ^ Immersing Diary#3 – Under the sea, MTR,20 June 2017
  24. ^ "SCL Major Contracts Awarded". MTR. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  25. ^ MTR Service Update (22 February 2015). "「 沙田至中環綫 」第一期" (in Chinese). VJMEDIA. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Shatin to Central Link (SCL)". Railway Technology. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  27. ^ "MTR - Shatin to Central Link - Construction - New Trains". 20 March 2016. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  28. ^ Barrow, Keith (19 December 2012). "MTR orders trains and signalling for Shatin – Central Link". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  29. ^ a b "New Trains and Signalling System for the future Shatin to Central Link" (PDF). MTR (Press Release). 14 December 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  30. ^ "2nd MTR shipment successful delivery". Pioneer Logistics Group. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Review and Update of the Railway Development Strategy 2000 – Executive Summary" (PDF). Highways Department of the Government of Hong Kong. September 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  32. ^ "SP1900". MTR Service Update. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  33. ^ "New trains for SCL". MTR. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  34. ^ "Shatin to Central Link - Improvement Works on Pedestrian Link Facilities in Tsz Wan Shan" (PDF). MTR. October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  35. ^ "Progress Update". MTR. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  36. ^ "MTR - Kwun Tong Line Extension > Project Details > Key Information". MTR Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  37. ^ "「 沙田至中環綫 」第一期 (Chinese: Sha Tin to Central Link phrase 1)". 22 February 2017.
  38. ^ 黃, 雅盈 (24 September 2017). "港鐵沙中線「土瓜灣」站變「宋皇臺」站? 港鐵:內部參考未落實".