MTR’s East Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line services will be transferred to a new central control hub at the end of this month.
The switch over is the first phase of a planned integration of heavy rail services in Hong Kong.
By 2014, all commuter and regional services will be monitored from the Tsing Yi Super Operations Control Centre (OCC).
Jay Walder, chief executive officer of MTR Corporation, said: “The MTR rail network is fully-integrated. Something happening on one line can have an impact on another line. So it makes sense for our traffic controllers to be able to get an overall picture of what is happening in the network.
“This will make it easier for them to assess situations arising in the train service and decide on the appropriate action to take. It will also further enhance communication amongst the controllers of different lines.
“More importantly, the new Super OCC is designed with our network expansion in mind. It will house the controls for four of the five new rail lines being constructed.”
More than $100 million has been invested in the new Tsing Yi centre.
The OCC integration to Tsing Yi will be undertaken in two phases. The East Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line controls at Fo Tan will be relocated at the end of March, while the Kam Tin West Rail Line controls will be transferred in June.
“The integration process is the result of years of detailed design, planning and actual upgrading work on the signalling and other control systems with the overriding objective of ensuring the move will have zero impact to passengers and normal train operations,” said Alan Cheng, head of operating at MTR Corporation.