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Site visit: Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL)

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The site visit to XRL-West Kowloon Terminus was initiated and organised by APM HK Branch. This was a popular event which was fully booked, and participation rate was 87% of booked deelgates on the day.  The agenda of the site visit was as follows:

9:30 - 10:00amPresentation of the Project by Mr Mark Lomas RPP (Project Manager XRL Terminus Controls)
10:00 - 10:10amProject video
10:10 - 10:40amXRL Terminus Model room
10:40 - 11:10amSite walk from Austin Station to Kowloon Station via footbridge along Jordan Road (see figure below for the proposed site-walk route)

proposed walking route for site visit 6th December 2014

The attendees gathered outside the XRL Visitors’ Center located at Austin West-Rail Station early at 8:45am while Miss Luciana Wong, the site Liaison Engineer at XRL, set up the presentation equipment for the site visit. MTR Corporation’s XRL Project Manager (XRL Terminus-Controls), Mr. Mark Lomas (ex APM HK Branch Chairman), arrived at 9:00am and welcomed all participants. 

Mark gave a remarkable presentation of the XRL project in general and put particular emphasis on West-Terminus construction regarding its challenges and recent media coverage due to the project’s “unexpected” delay. XRL is being built under a “concession approach” whereby the HKSAR Government provides funding for the project and the MTR Corporation is responsible for managing the Design and Construction.

The Hong Kong section of XRL is part of a 142km long express rail system connecting Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou city centres, which will be linked to the Beijing-Guangzhou passenger line in the future. The West Kowloon Terminus is a new landmark at the West Kowloon Culture Area, which comprises of a four-level underground station, green park and traffic-free connection facilities to surrounding districts.  

XRL terminus roomMark introduced the definition of High Speed Rail and the background of the Express Rail Line (XRL). He gave an overview of the XRL project including its scope, tunnel construction, the West Kowloon Terminus construction, as well as an overview of its project management. The presentation concluded with summing up the project challenges, a report of current progress and an interesting project video. The major challenges of the project include the complexity of the site-location as well as the design of the terminus itself. The multi-storey platform system and curved steel roof structure require a high standard of construction sequencing and interface programming.

After the presentation, the participants spent around 15 minutes in the XRL model room taking photographs of the West-Kowloon Terminus Model and listening to Marks’ briefing on the design and construction of the station. Delegates then benefitted from a short question and answer session afterwards.  

Mark Lomas (left) and Kevin Parry (right)The site walk begun at around 10:45am. Starting from Austin Station and the entrance of the Jordon Road temporary footbridge, Mark showed us different sections of the project site. The main station steel-roof is being constructed with all the core structure underneath completed already. We were shown the major railway line, already built, running from north of the station to the “spread-over” platform system at the terminus. We also saw the location of the planned “green pedestrian routes”, “public transport interchange with landscape decks” and “major office towers” on top of the railway line. Main road access and the railway platforms were also explained in detail. 

The site-visit was successfully completed at 11:30 am on 6th December 2014.

David Wong
HK Branch Committee

View of site on walk


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