Construction of HK’s Express Rail Link (XRL) urges funding before March.
Express Rail Link (XRL) project has enormous significance for enhancing the connection between Hong Kong and the mainland. Therefore Frederick Ma Si-hang, the new chairman of MTR Corporation (0066.HK), has urged lawmakers to approve the company’s request for additional construction funding to ensure the project to stay on track.
Last December, HK government negotiated with MTR Corporation to revise the completion date to the third quarter of 2018. Meanwhile the cost estimate was revised to HK$84.42 billion, overspending to HK$18.38 billion.
Although facing overspending and technical difficulties, the project currently 77% completed, Ma is confident that it will be finished on time.
MTR Corporation’s new chairman has urged lawmakers to approve the company’s request for additional funding for construction of the Hong Kong section of a cross-border high-speed rail project.
The express rail line linking to the city to Guangzhou via Shenzhen is essential to maintain Hong Kong’s economic interests and competitiveness, Frederick Ma Si-hang said in a media briefing Tuesday.
Ma, who took over the chairmanship of MTR on Jan. 1, said he hopes the high-speed rail link can be launched as per plan.
He also said that he hopes that work related to two local projects — the Kwun Tong Line Extension and the South Island Line — will proceed without a hitch, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
The express line that will connect Hong Kong and Guangzhou will entail total journey time of 63 minutes for passengers, given three stops on the route — Futian, Longhua and Humen, reports said earlier this week.
That has led observers to question why MTR had been touting a 48-minute travel time in its project documents.
The rail operator clarified that the 48-minute journey time pertains only to select non-stop services.
Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said in a commentary Tuesday that Hong Kong will face some problems unless it resolves the issues surrounding the high-speed rail project.
The city will have to shoulder huge costs if the construction of the express link is halted, given that about HK$65 billion has already been invested in the project, said the commentary which was published in the overseas edition of the newspaper.