Hong Kong Travel & Transport

MTRC to form train crash investigation committee, as passenger services return to normal

The MTR Corporation has said an investigation committee will be set up to look into Monday’s train crash incident, as passenger services return to normal.

Two trains collided at Central station at 2.57am on Monday before daily passenger services opened. The crash left two drivers hospitalised, as Tsuen Wan Line services between Central and Admiralty were suspended for two days. The incident occurred as a third back-up system for a new signalling system was being tested. Testing for the new HK$3.3 billion system – which is designed to increase the frequency of trains – has been halted.

MTRC crashed trains

Photo: MTRC.

The wreckage was finally removed during repair work in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

MTRC crashed trains

MTRC staff removing the crashed trains. Photo: MTRC.

MTRC Chair Frederick Ma said on Wednesday morning that an investigation committee will be set up, and suppliers of the new system will be involved. He said a preliminary report will be submitted on Friday, but the report from the investigation committee may take two to three months.

“I promise we will get to the bottom of it. We will put safety first,” he said.

MTRC Operations Director Adi Lau said the trains involved were moved to a side track at Admiralty station and will be moved to the depot later.

He said the incident had a minor effect on the tracks. Some overhead cables have been scratched, and a signal box was dislocated, he said.

“We have spare trains… We have to manage them carefully and we have to look at how we deploy the trains amongst the lines,” he added.

On Tuesday, Ma said the MTRC was “very dissatisfied” with the performance of the signalling system suppliers, and reserved all rights to seek responsibility.

MTRC crashed trains

Photo: MTRC.

French company Thales, one of the suppliers, said it was “deeply sorry” about the incident. It said the DUAT resignalling project, currently being deployed in Hong Kong, uses a unique kind of triple redundancy architecture.

MTR Central station train collision

Photo: inmediahk.net.

“An investigation is underway to fully understand the circumstances of the incident and Thales is providing close support to MTR on this investigation,” it said in a statement.

It said an initial report to be published on Friday will be based on a mock reproduction of the crash created in Thales’ laboratory.

MTRC to form train crash investigation committee, as passenger services return to normal