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Changing trains (Hong Kong MTR)

I’m always interested in other views of the MTR, including this one:

hong kong metro: five transfers??

I jumped onto Google looking for hotels that would be convenient to the rail line from the airport.  Yikes!

Is it my imagination, or am I seeing that:

  • Only three stations in the city are on the Airport line.
  • Only five additional stations can be reached in one transfer.
  • Some parts of the system (e.g. the Ma On Shan (MOL) line in the northeast) are five transfers from the Airport.

Don't airport lines, where people are hauling luggage, need to be designed so that they plug into the network with relatively few, well-designed transfers.

Not in London, where the Heathrow Express only takes you to Paddington.  OK, so Crossrail the Elizabeth Line will offer better (but slower) connections throughout Central London, when it opens in 2018. 

Not in Bangkok, either, which doesn’t even have one convenient connection.  Does Shanghai?

That’s a strange map of the MTR system, though.  The terminus of the Airport Express (Hong Kong station) is connected to Central station through an underground walkway.  This offers plenty of easy ways to get to the rest of Hong Kong island and most of Kowloon.

If you don’t mind waiting, the so-called Sha Tin to Central link will provide more simple interchanges – and if they ever finish the new train terminus in West Kowloon, it should be easy to walk from Kowloon station to Austin (on West Rail). 

Also, most major hotels can be reached through free shuttle buses from either Kowloon or Hong Kong station.  Or taxis are a good, reasonably priced option (although there can be long queues at Hong Kong station).


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Private Beach

It may be slower, but Heathrow is already served by the Piccadilly Line which makes for plenty of easy connections right across London. Hint: if you have a lot of luggage, look for interchange stations marked with the wheelchair symbol on the map - these have lifts in addition to escalators.


Yes, but as well as being slow it can be very crowded (which the Heathrow Express is not).

The wheelchair symbol can be a useful guide, but (for example) although Earls Court has lifts, transferring from the Piccadilly Line to the District Line requires you to take two lifts and walk quite a distance. Whereas Barons Court is not wheelchair accessible, but there are cross-platform interchanges (for trains in the same direction on the two lines).

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