5th July, 2014
Express Rail Abandons European Safety Standard; MTR: Must Accommodate China
The public has been questioning the anti-collision standard of the Express Rail since the purchasing of China made trains was reported. During the press conference co-hosted by Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and MTR yesterday, the spokespeople said that given the differences between Hong Kong and Europe, there is no need for Express Rail to adopt the European anti-collision standard. EMSD said that an independent third party will be hired by MTR to submit a report on Express Rail’s anti-collision standard, if the report shows that the rail does not match the standard the rail will not be allowed to operate. EMSD also emphasised that “there is no compromise on the safety (of Express Rail)”.
The Hong Kong section of Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link will adopt China’s CTCS-3 signal system instead of the European standard. EMSD and MTR said that there is only one type of express rail train that matches the Europeans anti-collision standard which has a maximum speed of 320km, instead of the 350km required by China’s section. The Express Rail Link adopts CTCS-3 and CTCS-2 signal systems, which fulfill safety standard. They stressed at the press conference that if both signal systems fail, the trails will be controlled manually with a maximum speed of 250km.
EMSD said that the reliability of the CTCS-3 system is 99.99%, but will demand MTR to consult an independent third party to provide risk evaluation and collision analysis report to proof that the Express Rail is safe if collision happens. EMSD stressed that if the report shows that the Express Rail is not proven safe, it will not be allowed to operate. MTR said that it will provide the report as soon as possible which is estimated to be completed in two years. EMSD said that it will continue to monitor the operation of the Express Rail to ensure it matches the international safety standard.