Continuing with my theme of finding railway related Youtube clips and describing what’s in ’em – here is a documentary from 1979 that describes Hong Kong’s brand new MTR system and how to use it.
Here is a quick synopsis:
- 00:01 – footage of Hong Kong traffic jams,
- 01:00 – overview of the new MTR network,
- 01:40 – MTR train departing a station,
- 01:45 – cab footage of a citybound train departing Kwun Tong station, running over the viaducts of Kowloon Bay,
- 02:00 – a look inside the MTR control room, a mix CRT displays and old fashioned pushbutton signalling panels,
- 02:25 – more cab footage, entering the tunnels at Choi Hung and a summary of the stations along the way,
- 03:58 – a look at the original station entrances and concourses,
- 04:30 – how to buy tickets from the automated vending machines,
- 05:00 – using the turnstiles to enter the platform,
- 05:30 – how to find your platform,
- 06:00 – make sure you stand behind the yellow line,
- 06:20 – interior shows of the unrefurbished Metro Cammell EMUs
- 06:30 – more cab footage inside the tunnels,
- 07:00 – how to exit the platform,
- 07:30 – using the turnstiles to exit the station
Given that there was never anything like the MTR in Hong Kong before it opened, the amount of handholding seen in the documentary can be expected.
The first section of the MTR opened on 1 October 1979 when trains commenced running between Kwun Tong and Shek Kip Mei, with an extension down Nathan Road to Tsim Sha Tsui opening on 16 December 1979, and under Victoria Harbour to the terminus at Chater Station (since renamed Central) on Hong Kong Island on 12 February 1980. Today forming the core of the Kwun Tong Line and Tsuen Wan Lines, this single line was officially known as the “Modified Initial System” (map from Wikipedia).
All of these stations remain open today, but some have different names – Argyle is now Mong Kok, Waterloo is Yau Ma Tei, and Chater is now Central – and Prince Edward didn’t open until the Tsuen Wan Line opened in 1982.