Powering the MTR Light Rail network

The MTR Light Rail system in Hong Kong comprises of 68 stations on 36.2 km of route, served by 150 light rail vehicles. But how are they all powered?

Phase II LRV 1089 on route 507 approaches Siu Lun stop

How it works

The system is electrified using 750V DC overhead wires, like most modern light rail networks.

Overhead wires at Pui To station

Power is supplied by CLP Group via three 132kV / 11kV AC infeed substations – located at Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai.

Google Street View

A network of 11kV AC underground cables then fan out to 16 rectifier stations operated by the MTR.

Rectifier station R2 on the MTR Light Rail

The 11kV / 750V transformers are located outside.

Rectifier station R10 on the MTR Light Rail at Yuen Long

And the rectifier equipment that convert AC power to DC power are inside.

Rectifier station R2 on the MTR Light Rail

Finally, underground cables run to the nearby light rail tracks, where the 750V DC power is fed into the network of overhead.

Traction power feeders at rectifier station R2

Tracking down the rectifier stations

In my time exploring the MTR Light Rail network, I’ve managed to stumble upon a handful of rectifier stations – R2, R3, R6, R7 and R10. So where are the rest?

We start at Tuen Mun Ferry Pier where rectifier station R1 is located in the middle of the reversing loop.

Google Maps

I fount R2 on my own – down a side street at Tsin Shan Tsuen.

Rectifier station R2 on the MTR Light Rail

R3 was an easier find – in the middle of the disused revering loop at On Ting.

Rectifier station R3 on Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road at Siu Lun

R4 is further north at Ho Tin, and co-located with the CLP Group infeed substation.

Google Street View

R5 is out in the open beside the tracks at Shek Pai.

Google Street View

As we head north towards Yuen Long, we find R6 at Siu Hong.

Google Street View

R7 at Chung Uk Tsuen.

Rectifier station R7 at Chung Uk Tsuen

R8 at Tong Fong.

Google Street View

R9 at Shui Pin Wai – the second rectifier station co-located with a CLP Group infeed substation.

Google Street View

And end at R10 at the Yuen Long terminus.

MTR Phase I LRV 1038 on route 615 departs the Yuen Long terminus

R11 is back at the Tuen Mun end of the network, hidden away inside the Light Rail depot.

Google Maps

R12 is on a side street at Hoh Fuk Tong, constructed as part of the eastern Tuen Mun extension in 1992.

Google Street View

And finally we end in Tin Shui Wai – R13 is beside the bike path at Tin Shui, and opened with the northern extension of the network in 1993.

Google Street View

Followed by R14 in 2003 – north of Tin Shui Wai station, and the site of the third CLP Group infeed substation.

Google Street View

R15 at Tin Wing. (once the Tin Shui Wai terminus)

Google Street View

And R16 – located in the middle of the reversing loop at Tin Yat terminus.

Google Street View

So how did I find the rest of the rectifier stations?

I had a little help – the unofficial MTR 365 website has a full track and electrical diagram of the MTR Light Rail system, which combined with an hour or so exploring on Google Maps, got me to where I am now.



I’ve also managed to track down the traction power substations that power the trams and trains of my home city of Melbourne, Australia.

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