Common sense
Getting worse

MTR Fail - obscured by signs

fo tanFirst they put up a new display screen with the times of the next few trains and other useful information (to replace the old smaller displays).

Then they installed a large metal sign that largely blocks views of the screen (from one direction).  

This new sign marks what will be the front of the 9-car trains that are being introduced over the next 18 months to replace all the existing 12-car trains (and the frequency will be increased at some point so the total capacity shouldn’t be affected). 

Yes, this is the much-delayed and misleadingly named “Sha Tin to Central Link” project.  Hilariously, the project website still has a map that implies that trains will run from Tai Wai through East Kowloon to Admiralty.  That was the original idea before the KCR and MTR merged, but it was changed a very long time ago, which is why they need to introduce shorter trains on the East Rail line for when they run through to Exhibition Centre and Admiralty stations (which will have shorter platforms).    

11 years ago we were told that it would open in “2015 or 2016” (MTR Corp submits new rail plan and vows to minimise disruption).  Those dates have subsequently been revised several times, and the latest plan seems to be to hope that it will open in around two years time (so no rush to introduce the shorter trains):

“the targeted completion date in the first quarter of 2022 faces a number of challenges, but the project team continues to work hard to achieve this programme” 

Things have not gone very well.  The MTR claim that the overall project is now 93% complete, but the only section that is open is from Tai Wai to Kai Tak, extending what was the Ma On Shan line, and now renamed to be the Tuen Ma line phase 1.  Next year this should connect through to West Rail (Tuen Mun to Ma On Shan, hence the name that probably no-one will confuse with the Tsuen Wan line).

Yes, right, this was supposed to be about the sign.  Would it really have been so difficult to have a narrower sign to mark the end of the 9-car trains and then moved the display screen to be alongside it?  So, you know, passengers could see the time of the next train.

This is a general problem on the MTR, both on platforms and in station concourses, with a jumble of random signs that seem to have been designed and installed without any co-ordination (Sign A tells you this and needs to go here, and Sign B has a different purpose and needs to go there).  Indeed, further up the same platform there’s an “Exit” sign partially obscuring another display screen.


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