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Check in check

Chek Lap Kok's new express rail link will include a unique in-town check- in facility at its stations in Hong Kong and Kowloon.

The Mass Transit Railway Corporation's proposals are the first to have been provided at the initiative of a railway corporation with a view to financial viability rather than as an 'add-on' service provided by airlines.

British consultant Halcrow was commissioned in 1993 to prove the feasibility of the ITCI system and design the necessary facilities, together with a working prototype of the proposed train loading device. These tasks were undertaken by a specialist team of Halcrow architects and engineers familiar with the design of railway stations and airport terminals.

The successes and failures of similar facilities around the world such as Switzerland's Air/Rail service, London's Victoria-Gatwick service and the substantial check-in service attached to Tokyo's Narita airport express bus route were considered.

Halcrow's system caters for a peak of 730 passengers an hour in Hong Kong and 1,360 in Kowloon, using 45 and 78 check-in desks respectively. The facilities are housed in an airport style departure concourse within the station development.

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