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Hong Kong to link East and West rail lines

THE KOWLOON Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) has won Hong Kong government approval to build an £800M, 4.2km link to connect its East Rail and West Rail lines around the Kowloon peninsula.

James Blake, KCRC senior director capital projects, said that construction, which is expected to involve UK consultants, is likely to start in 2004 with completion by 2007-08.

He said the link would be built using a mix of cut and cover, bored tunnel and top down construction techniques. The line will run from the end of the East Rail network at Tsim Sha Tsui East to the West Rail Nam Cheong Street terminus.

Mr Blake said Canton Road station on the east side of the peninsula, in the heart of the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district, 'is a challenging piece of work' involving the construction of a station underneath one of the area's key arteries.

He said vehicles would have to use temporary decking built over the complete width of the four lane road while contractors excavated underneath to form the station.

An underground passenger thoroughfare will also be built from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront through the centre of the district to Canton Road.

The project, predicted in NCE 's KCR supplement in May, is expected to create around 3,000 jobs. Giving the green light, a government spokesman said:

'The KCRC's proposal is technically and financially sound.'

Meanwhile consultant Halcrow was this week appointed to advise on construction of the a 'sea bridge' between Shanghai and the island of Yang Shan.

The 32.5km bridge is part of phase one of the £1.25bn Yang Shan port project deck.

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