Commuters welcome East Rail Line extension - RTHK
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Commuters welcome East Rail Line extension

2022-05-16 HKT 13:15
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  • The newly launched cross-harbour section of the East Rail Line has shortened the journey for a lot of commuters. Photo: RTHK
    The newly launched cross-harbour section of the East Rail Line has shortened the journey for a lot of commuters. Photo: RTHK
Some commuters on Monday morning found going to work much less hassle than usual as they travelled on the newly extended East Rail Line.

The cross-harbour section operated smoothly on its first working day, having received a warm welcome from train enthusiasts during its launch over the weekend.

The 46-kilometre line now connects the northeastern New Territories with Hong Kong Island for the first time.

Office worker Alex, who was travelling to Tai Wai from Central, told RTHK the new line has shortened his commute time.

“Previously I had to take three trains, from Central to Mong Kok, Mong Kok to Kowloon Tong, Kowloon Tong to Tai Wai. I think the whole journey will be about 20 minutes quicker and I don’t have to make three changes,” he said.

Another passenger, Dez who works in Kowloon Tong, said the journey to work has become less stressful.

“This is the first time we are going to step onto it. At the moment it looks quite okay. This is much more convenient for us. It’s much faster because usually we have to go to Admiralty then Mong Kok, then Kowloon Tong. Now we can go from Admiralty straight to Kowloon Tong. Usually when we go to Mong Kok there’s definitely more people.”

Business worker Joseph is delighted that he no longer has to change at Tsim Sha Tsui.

“It’s a huge improvement for me. It shortens my commute by 5 to 10 minutes, so it’s a very good achievement. Usually, I used to change trains at Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Here it’s a little bit less crowded.”

The MTR Corporation said that as of 11am on Monday, Exhibition Centre Station had welcomed over 12,400 passengers, while about 34,300 and 49,500 people used Hung Hom Station and Admiralty Station respectively.

The MTR said trains on the line will run every 2.7 minutes during rush hours, and that it will deploy extra staff to help passengers.

Meanwhile, the Transport Department said the East Rail Line operated smoothly in the morning, as it reminded passengers to plan their journeys in advance when they go to work during peak hours.