Header image courtesy of MTR (via Facebook)
Hong Kong’s MTR has finally announced the official service commencement date of its long-awaited East Rail line extension! On Sunday, 15 May 2022, the new cross-harbour railway section will open to the public, creating a direct transportation link between the three main regions of the New Territories, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island.
As part of its cross-harbour extension, the East Rail line will add two stations to its 46-kilometre route: the new Exhibition Centre Station, which is located next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, and the existing MTR interchange giant Admiralty Station, which replaces Hung Hom as the new East Rail line terminus.
As the fourth cross-harbour railway in Hong Kong, the extension builds upon the century-old legacy of the East Rail line, which has been in service since 1910. Commuting from Hung Hom to the new Exhibition Centre Station in Wan Chai will take a mere five minutes, while the travel time between Hung Hom and Admiralty will be just seven minutes. Journeys between Sheung Shui and Admiralty will now be direct and take only around 40 minutes, according to an official statement by the MTR Corporation.
With the expansion of Admiralty Station, passengers now have the option to interchange between four railway lines (East Rail line, Tsuen Wan line, Island line, and South Island line) in just one station. Furthermore, in a bid to continue to enhance the travel experience, technological features like the ”Train Car Loading Indicator” and the new “Cross-Harbour Easy” will provide commuters with real-time information, such as train-waiting conditions and time-saving routes, to inform their cross-harbour travel choices.
For those who cannot wait to experience the new cross-harbour facilities on the East Rail line, the MTR is hosting an open day at Exhibition Centre Station on 9 May for a first look. Interested parties can secure tickets for free via the MTR Mobile app or the Gulu app starting from 5 May. Be quick—the quota is limited due to social distancing measures.