South Island line
The South Island line, identified by the livery colour of lime, is a passenger railway of Hong Kong's MTR metro system. This line connects the central business district from Admiralty station to the Southern District of Hong Kong Island, which was not served by any rail transport prior to the opening of this line. The rolling stock of South Island line is purpose-built for driverless operation. Trains are remotely controlled from the Operations Control Centre in Tsing Yi. Approved by the Executive Council of Hong Kong in 2007, the line commenced service on 28 December 2016.
South Island line
Southbound train of the South Island line approaching Ocean Park
|Type||Rapid transit, driverless|
|Locale||Districts: Central and Western, Southern|
|Opened||28 December 2016|
|Depot(s)||Wong Chuk Hang|
|Rolling stock||CNR Changchun EMU|
|Line length||7.4 km (4.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
This line was known during planning and construction as the South Island line (East) to distinguish from South Island line (West), which is still under planning.
The initial proposal for the line was in 2002, and went through a number of changes, at times combined with the West Island line and South Island line (West). The final alignment corresponds with "option B" of the 2005 revised scheme, with no intermediate station at Happy Valley station included, in order to reduce the travel time to the CBD.
MTR defines the railway as a medium capacity system. The final order for rolling stock for the new line consisted of 10 new three-car MTR CNR Changchun EMUs using steel wheels. These trains are externally similar to the new existing sets in service on the Kwun Tong line, but are fully automatic and driverless – the second such line in the MTR system after the Disneyland Resort line, and the third such line in Hong Kong. However, every train has at least one staff for patrol in the traffic hour who is qualified to control the train manually according to the requirements of the Fire Services Department since the opening of the line.  Trains operate with a frequency of three minutes during rush hour.
Alignment and stationsEdit
The line begins in tunnel at Admiralty station, and turns southeast, emerging into a covered viaduct just before Ocean Park station. The line continues west on the viaduct through Wong Chuk Hang over a nullah, and crosses the channel to Ap Lei Chau on the Aberdeen Channel Bridge; the line then enters a tunnel and continues to Lei Tung and South Horizons stations.
The following is a list of the stations on the South Island line.
|Livery and name||District||Connections||Opening date|
|South Island line|
|Admiralty||Central and Western||Tsuen Wan line, Island line and East Rail line (2021)||28 December 2016|
|Wong Chuk Hang||South Island line (West) (proposed)|
Project Agreements and Entrustment Agreement for MTR South Island line and the Kwun Tong line extension were signed by the Hong Kong government and MTR Corporation on 18 May 2011. In August 2012, drilling and blasting work began for constructing the Nam Fung Tunnel, between Admiralty and Ocean Park stations. On 9 December 2013, structural work for Ocean Park station was completed. The first 3-car trainset arrived at MTR Siu Ho Wan Depot on 19 February 2014. In 2014, the project was 78% complete by late September and Nam Fung Tunnel was broken through on 17 October. In 2015, trial runs began between Wong Chuk Hang and South Horizons stations. 84% of construction work was completed by the end of February 2015. Work in Lei Tung station was prolonged by geological issues, but the MTR claimed it would not postpone the line opening.
The opening of the South Island line was originally planned for 2015. On 21 May 2014, an informant told Apple Daily that the commencement date of the line would be postponed by one and a half years. MTR Corporation asserted it would be opened as expected. Yet, the Transport and Housing Bureau revealed the delay of construction work and demanded MTR to review the commencement. Members of the Legislative Council and District Council criticised MTR for hiding the project's progress from the public and demanded a progress report at the Council's meeting. Eight days later at the South District Council meeting, MTRC announced the delay was caused by the expansion work of Admiralty station. High-density building, underground public facilities and the existing Admiralty station would prolong the work progress, as "safety comes first". However, the claimed 2015 opening date remained unchanged. In November 2014, a revised opening date of December 2016 was announced.
In October 2016, MTRC chairman Frederick Ma warned that the opening of the South Island line could be delayed by three more months. However, on 10 November 2016, he announced the South Island line would open by the end of 2016, saying the engineering team overcame the many challenges in expanding Admiralty Station. Finally, MTRC chief executive Lincoln Leong officially declared the South Island line would begin operation on 28 December 2016.
On 28 December, before South Horizons station opened, many residents and enthusiasts gathered outside the entrance for its opening. MTR managerial officials, including CEO Lincoln Leong, welcomed passengers and rode on the first departure. The first train departed from South Horizons station at 5:55 am, five minutes earlier than usual. After 11 hours of operation, there had been over 92,000 passenger journeys. However, the day after the line opened, an electrical fault triggered power outages at 2:15 pm, causing lighting systems, escalators, elevators, and fare gates to stop working. The driverless trains were switched into manual mode in order to sustain service. Normal operation resumed after half an hour. The third-party MTR Service Update classified this as a "severe delay".
At Admiralty, a new island platform was built under Harcourt Garden. Transfer passages connect the new station area with the older Tsuen Wan line and Island line platforms, as well as the future North South Corridor platforms.
At Wong Chuk Hang, originally the platform structure was to be a double island platform with three tracks (like Choi Hung station). South Island line (West) trains would use the centre track while South Island line trains would use those on each side, allowing for convenient cross-platform interchanges. However, according to the final plan, any future South Island line (West) platforms would be built above the existing platforms.
- "MTR's South Island Line to open on December 28". RTHK. 5 December 2016.
- "Southern District of Hong Kong to be linked to MTR railway". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "SOUTH ISLAND LINE (EAST) AUTHORIZATION OF SCHEME FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF OBJECTIONS" (PDF). 30 November 2010.
- "Fully automatic trains to start running on South Island line next year, MTR confirms". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "南港島線無人駕駛列車 職員長駐隨時應急". 東方日報 Oriental Daily. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "Project Agreements and Entrustment Agreement Signed for MTR South Island line and the Kwun Tong line extension" (PDF). MTR. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "港鐵南港島綫（東段）南風隧道貫通" (PDF). 港鐵. 20 October 2014.(in Chinese)
- From City Centre to Ocean Park Station in Just Four Minutes，MTR Press Release 9 December 2013
- 港鐵海洋公園站平頂, Apple Daily,10 December 2013
- "First South Island Line (East) Train Arrives in Hong Kong" (PDF). MTR. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- 港鐵有信心南港島線明年底通車 Cable TV 26 March 2015
- "南港島綫 延誤年半 港鐵死撐2015可通車 運房局踢爆工程滯後" (in Chinese) (Apple Daily). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "港鐵以2015年南港島綫竣工及通車為目標" (in Chinese). RTHK. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "South Island line faces more costly delays". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "South Island line may be delayed by three months". RTHK. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "MTR's South Island line to open by year's end". RTHK. 10 November 2016.
- Yeung, Raymond; Chiu, Peace; Ng, Naomi. "It's an early start as Hong Kong's HK$16.9 billion South Island line opens smoothly". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "MTR power glitch hits second day of Hong Kong South Island line". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Severe delay on South Island line". MTR Service Update. Retrieved 3 January 2017.[non-primary source needed]
- "MTR – South Island Line > Station Information > Admiralty Station". mtr-southislandline.hk. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
Papers from Government and Legislature
- "Second Railway Development Study (RDS-2)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2006. From Highways Department Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
- "Information paper about the Feb 2005 scheme" (PDF). From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
- "Background brief on Route 4, South Hong Kong Island line and West Hong Kong Island line" (PDF). From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 21 February 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2005.
- "Presentation of Feb 2005 scheme by MTR" (PDF). From Panel of Transport, Legislative Council. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 5 March 2005.
- "MTR Corporation welcomes Government's decision on West Island line and South Island line" (PDF).. (30 June 2005). From MTR Corporation.
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