MTR: Disneyland Resort Line

The Disneyland Resort Line is a 3.4 km long branch railway that connects Hong Kong Disneyland to the rest of the MTR network. It is single track and operates as minimum headway of 4 minutes during peak, the two stations linked by two trains operating as a shuttle: the full set of photos is here.

Unlike the rest of the MTR, the Disneyland Resort Line is the one to operate without a driver: even the door operation is automatic. For safety reasons a MTR employee is still onboard the train in case of an emergency, for a few trips I sighted one lounging around in the cab, on another I found them in the empty passenger saloon. As this photo shows, at each end of the train there is a glass door between the passenger saloon and the cab, allowing you to see along the line.

Where is the driver?

The train sets are mechanically identical to the standard EMU stock used elsewhere on the network, but have a Disney themed saloon fitout and livery for use on the line.

Onboard a Disneyland Resort Line train

The line starts at Sunny Bay station, where there is an interchange with the Tung Chung line.

Sunny Bay station, platforms for the Disneyland Resort Line

This section of the line has “modern” style overhead structures: the entire line has been themed to fit with the Disney resort.

Arriving into Sunny Bay station

The line then enters the Tai Yam Teng tunnel, when it emerges from the other side a “Victorian” style is used on the line. Note the fake semaphore signal above the tracks!

South portal of Tai Yam Teng tunnel

The set of points in the previous photo is the up end of a crossing loop, as two trains are used for normal operations on the line. During normal operations Disneyland bound trains take the loop road with running crosses occurring, the timing being exact to the second due to the automatic operation of the trains. Left hand running is in place for the loop, this photo is from the back window of a southbound train travelling on the loop road, bound for the Disneyland station.

Passing a northbound train for Sunny Bay at the crossing loop

The down end of the loop has an overrun track, in the unlikely event that the timing for the running cross is off. The overrun provides a braking overlap for down trains to stop before reaching the train that is approaching the loop from the other end. In normal operation the down train passes through the crossover back to the main line.

Down end of the crossing loop on the Disneyland Resort Line

After a short stretch of track the train then arrives at Disneyland Resort station.

Train arrives into Disneyland station

The entire station is roofed over, but is open to the weather.

Inside Disneyland station

Entry to Disneyland station

The station still has the usual advertisements located opposite the platform. Unlike all other MTR stations, there are no 3rd party advertisements – I assume this is due to the Disney influence.

MTR advertising at Disneyland station

In all it is a rather interesting line with everything working automatically (some more technical details of the safeworking system in operation is in this IRSE newsletter (page 8 onwards). The rest of the MTR has trains that drive automatically, but on plain straight track, and without the need for the safe operation of doors to be controlled as well.

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