The new KCR extension to Tsim Sha Tsui was open to the public yesterday for the first time. The full service starts next Sunday afternoon.
Predictably, there have been complaints about the fares. Idiotic politicians have argued (amongst other things) that the fare from the New Territories to the new TST station should be the same as to Hung Hom, because both stations are in the same district. I thought Hung Hom was in a different district, but even if it isn't I find this a puzzling argument. Anyone starting their journey on KCR East Rail and wanting to get to TST currently has to change to the MTR at Kowloon Tong or take a bus or minibus from Hung Hom. The new service will be cheaper and more convenient, so why the complaints?
Meanwhile, the KCR has decided to replace all the signs in KCR East Rail that direct passengers to the southbound service. They used to say 'Kowloon', which seems a perfectly adequate description, but they are changing them to say 'East Tsim Sha Tsui". True, that is the new terminus, but last time I checked TST was also in Kowloon, so why the need for a change?
Finally, can anyone explain why they have chosen that English name for the station? The Chinese name is the much simpler Tsim East (sounds something like "Jim Done" in Cantonese), the same as the name given to the area between TST and Hung Hom - which was reclaimed from the harbour twenty or so years ago. This is usually rendered as TST East in English, and reversing this for the name of the station seems rather confusing!