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Highways Department's response to media enquiries on train design for South Island Line (East)

Regarding media reports earlier on the train design for the MTR South Island Line (East) (SIL (E)), a spokesman for the Highways Department today (October 9) gave the following reply:

Upon the Government's request, the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) submitted a report to the Highways Department on September 30. The report revealed that the trains of the SIL(E) are currently in the design stage and under preliminary production. The train design has yet to be completed. During the design process, the MTRCL's contractor is required to calculate the range of swing when a train is in motion under different operational modes. The train design will then be suitably adjusted through tests and measurements to ensure that the train compartments will not hit any trackside structures and facilities, and that the gap between the train compartments and platforms will be reduced as far as practicable to ensure safe and smooth operation of train service.

The new trains will also be required to go through thorough tests, adjustments and trials to ensure that they have met the safety and operational requirements before the full production of trains takes place.

The safety and operation standards adopted by the MTRCL have been drawn up according to the best international practice for the design of trains. In the course of designing the system, data of track structure and equipment will be integrated and suitably co-ordinated to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the railway.

The Government attaches great importance to the safe operation of railways. Before the operation of SIL(E), the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department will conduct stringent onsite safety tests to ascertain that the operation, performance and safety conditions of the trains and the major systems meet international safety standards before approving the new trains to commence service to the public.

The design and production of new trains are proceeding on schedule while the construction cost and progress of the project meet the expected level. It is anticipated that the SIL(E) will be commissioned in 2015 as planned.

Ends/Wednesday, October 9, 2013