Delay certificates on the Hong Kong MTR

An notable aspect of railways in Japan are ‘delay certificates’ – small slips of paper produced by rail operators when a scheduled train doesn’t arrive as timetabled, so that passengers can prove to their superiors at school or work why they are arriving late. Rarely seen elsewhere in the world, in Hong Kong they are occasionally issued by the MTR following major delays.

Cross platform interchange at Mong Kok

A recent occurrence was following a fatality at Sheung Shui station on the East Rail line:

A passenger was killed on Friday after falling onto the train tracks at Sheung Shui MTR station.

A spokesperson for the MTR Corporation said the incident took place around 7:40am. A man in his 60s fell onto the tracks and was killed by an approaching train.

After the incident, train services between Fanling and Lo Wu and between Fanling and Lok Ma Chau were suspended for about an hour. Train services along the East Rail Line were also affected.

The MTR Corporation provided passengers with free shuttle bus services during the outage.

Train services resumed shortly after the man was removed from the tracks.

Affected commuters may apply for a delay certificate on the MTR Corporation’s website.

Officially called a ‘Notification on Information about the recent train service disruption’ (列車服務受阻通知書) by the MTR, these notices are only available via an online form.

The user fills in their personal details.

And a personalised delay certificate is emailed to the user.


Wikipedia has more on the delay certificate topic.

Back in Hong Kong, it appears that in cases of minor delays, delay certificates can also be requested via email.

The main online form is found at, but it doesn’t seem to be working right now – presumably it is only accessible following an incident for which delay certificates are being issued for.

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