KCRC JMY450 diesel hydraulic locomotives

I’ve written about the Kowloon Canton Railway’s fleet of diesel locomotives before, as well as the MTR’s fleet of battery electric and diesel locomotives, but turns out I was only scratching the surface – on the West Rail line there is another type in use – the Chinese built JMY450 diesel hydraulics.

MTR diesel locomotive stabled on a short works train at Pat Heung Depot

The locomotives were ordered by the KCRC as part of the West Rail line works, with the HK$33 million contract SP-2100 awarded to Shenzhen Sunray Group Co Ltd in June 2000, with the first three locomotives handed over in May 2001.

The first three KCR West Rail diesel locomotives, are completed in Changzhou, Jiangsu, today (Wednesday) and handed over to Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) by the Deputy Mayor of Changzhou.

The major function of the locomotives is to provide effective and convenient transportation on the newly installed West Rail tracks during the project’s construction stage, enabling engineering staff to install other railway systems along the 30.5 km alignment of West Rail in an effective manner.

The locomotives ready for delivery in Changzhou, China, were handed over to KCRC at a ceremony officiated by Deputy Mayor of Changzhou, Mr Wang Zhengping. The three locomotives will then be delivered to Hong Kong in June. The remaining 11 locomotives to be supplied under the same contract will come in four batches, with the last batch arriving in Hong Kong in April next year.

The on time delivery of the locomotives is of significance to the construction of West Rail as it will facilitate the commencement of the installation work of other railway systems contracts, including telecommunications systems, train control and signalling, as well as traction power supply and overhead line.

“The timely delivery of engineering supplies is critical to opening of West Rail on time and within budget. The West Rail project is progressing well and we are confident that West Rail will commence operation by the end of 2003,” a KCRC spokesman said.

The diesel Locomotives contract, with a value of $33 million, was awarded in June last year. The contractor is Shenzhen Sunray Group Company Limited, which is under the Ministry of Railways of China.

The manufacturer, now known as the Changzhou Kate Mining Machinery Engineering Company, describe the locomotives:

JMY450 hydraulic diesel locomotive can be applied for standard track gauge or for short distance operation, it also can supply traction power for other usage. 14 locomotives of this type have been ordered by Hong Kong Kowloon-Canton Railway corporation (KCRC).

The locomotive is provided with Caterpillar diesel engine with low fuel consumption and electrical fuel ejecting system and the emission of which can comply to EUR II standard, hydraulic reversing, electrical automatic gear shift, low speed control,and faults protecting device. The locomotives can be multiple unit operated, and kept with low noise and pollution which comply to the environmental protection specification of Hong Kong Government.

The Program Logic Controller(PLC) has been applied in electrical system, and the international advanced safety running automatic protecting system (ATC) has been applied in the locomotive.This type of locomotive is kept with good performance, easily operating, high reliability, small volume and long life.

Along with a specification sheet:

14 locomotives #1001-1014 are assigned to the West Rail Line, with an additional two locomotives #1101-1102 to the Ma On Shan Line. Their primary use is shunting trains around maintenance centres, such as this SP1900 set at Pat Heung Depot.

Further reading

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Cycling in Hong Kong

Hong Kong isn’t known as a cycling city – for transport or for leisure. But if you take a closer look, you’ll eventually find them.

Beating traffic with his beat up bike

Hong Kong Island and Kowloon

Delivering packages to a shop.

'Australian Dairy Co' - it isn't actually Australian at all!

Gas bottles.

Shell Gas bikes with front and rear racks for gas bottles

Crossing Nathan Road in Kowloon.

KMB bus TP6612 on route 238X along Nathan Road

Or Hennessy Road in Wan Chai.

Delivery goods by bike on the streets of Hong Kong

Dodging trams on Des Voeux Road Central.

First Bus #4028 on route 25 crosses Des Voeux Road Central

Or even riding along the tracks.

Man on a homebrew cargo bike rides on the tram tracks, with a 'Safety First' tram behind!

New Territories

I wasn’t until I visited the New Territories to find people cycling for fun.

Looking over Tolo Harbour towards Ma On Shan New Town

Bike paths run beside the water.

Apartment blocks tower over the Ma On Shan Promenade

And bike paths connect tower blocks.

A long way down

I found people cycling to shopping centres.

Mix of bikes parked outside the Tai Po Hui Market

MTR stations.

Rows of bikes parked at the bus interchange

And occasionally taking their bike on the train.

Passengers with bikes depart the train at Kowloon Tong station

Cycling being so popular that ‘no bike parking’ signs had been installed, along with plastic screens to prevent people from locking their bikes to the fence.

'Illegally parked bicycles will be removed' sign at the Tai Wai station bus interchange

The New Territories was the only place where I saw bike shops.

Bike shop on the edge of central Tai Po

Folding bikes appear popular for recreational cyclists.

Folding bikes chained up to a roadside fence

But some shops cater to more serious cyclists.

Bike shop in an industrial area in Tung Lo Wan

But the only place I saw a ‘serious’ road cyclist was in the hills climbing out of Repulse Bay.

Cyclist on the hilly road to Repulse Bay

Outlying Islands

A cycling utopia – that is what the outlying islands of Hong Kong are, thanks to their narrow streets and lack of cars.

Main street of Cheung Chau: bikes are the main mode of transport

There were shops hiring bikes to tourists.

Bikes for hire or sale on Cheung Chau

And the occasional cargo trike.

Tricycle among the bikes at Peng Chau ferry pier

As soon as you stepped off the ferry, bikes were everywhere.

Bikes parked on the ferry pier

But the bike parking areas were something else.

Bikes parked everywhere at the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier

Bikes parked everywhere.

Bikes parked everywhere at the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier

There is a 24 hours time limit for bike parking.

'Bikes may not be parked longer than 24 hours' notice at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier

With the government reserving the right to close the parking area with 14 days notice, so that abandoned bikes can be removed.

'Cycle parking may be suspended, and any remaining bikes removed' notice at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier

And I found one such clearance operation underway.

'Clearance of illegally parked / abandoned bicycles' notice at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier

And the bike share plague

The bike share industry entered Hong Kong in December 2017.

Ofo and Gobee bikes parked on the street

With green ‘Gobee’ and yellow ‘ofo’ bikes soon appearing across the city.

Ofo bike awaiting hire on Argyle Street, Mong Kok

I found the bulk of the bikes dumped in the New Territories.

Dozens of share bikes dumped at a bike park in Tung Chung

Beside the road.

Another dumped ofo bike in the bushes outside the Tsz Shan Monastery

Down dirt paths.

Dumped ofo bike in the bushes outside the Tsz Shan Monastery

In the bushes.

Another dumped ofo bike in the bushes outside the Tsz Shan Monastery

Slowly getting covered in weeds.

Dumped ofo bike in the bushes outside the Tsz Shan Monastery

Nowhere near as creative as the dumped oBikes in Melbourne, Australia but just as messy.

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Miniature fire trucks and ambulances

Hong Kong is a big city.

Neon lights on Tung Choi Street, Mongkok

With fire and ambulance stations like any other city.

Passing Tai Po East fire station

Fire trucks.

Hong Kong Fire Services Department Light Rescue Unit (LRU)

And ambulances.

Hong Kong ambulance

But the streets of Hong Kong’s outlying islands are far narrower.

Main street of Cheung Chau: bikes are the main mode of transport

So they use miniature fire trucks.

Miniature fire engine on the narrow streets of Peng Chau

And ambulances – but operating out of full sized fire stations.

Miniature ambulance departs the full sized fire station on Peng Chau

Quite the contrast!


The Hong Kong Fire Services Department provides ambulance services in Hong Kong, and as well as conventional road vehicles, also has motorcycle paramedics.

Motorcycle paramedic speeds down the wrong side of Nathan Road

Who can dart through traffic.

Motorcycle paramedic approaches Nathan Road

To get to emergencies quicker.

Motorcycle paramedic speeds down the wrong side of Nathan Road

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Inspecting the Tsing Ma Bridge

The Tsing Ma Bridge is the only link between Hong Kong International Airport and the rest of the city – so ensuring that it is kept in tip top shape is critical.

Westbound on the Tsing Ma Bridge

The suspensions cables are responsible for carying the weight of the bridge, and every vehicle travelling across it.

Suspension cables of the Tsing Ma Bridge

So a catwalk along the top of each cable provides inspection crews easy access.

Highway Department photo

But at 2160 metres long, it would be a long walk – so they can ride a mobile gantry atop the main cable.

And with towers 206 metres high, another mobile gantry allows crews to inspect the vertical suspension cables that holds up the bridge deck.

But what about the underside of bridge? Enter this unassuming looking truck.

Highway Department photo

Workers enter the basket located at the end of the hydraulic arm.

Highway Department photo

And can then be lowered beneath the bridge.

Highway Department photo

With the arm manoeuvrable enough to pass between the closely spaced cable stays.

Highway Department photo

The first bridge inspection vehicle was a Palfinger PB 4 acquired on the opening of the bridge in 1997.

Which was replaced by a Barin AB 23/SL in 2012.

A second bridge inspection vehicle was acquired in 2017, to be parked at the other end of the bridge, following concerns that traffic congestion might delay emergency responders.


PB 4 bridge inspection unit.

  • Max horizontal outreach: + 18.0 m / – 11.5 m
  • Max working height and depth: + 28.0 m / – 28.0 m
  • Max basket load: 280 kg

Barin AB 23/SL bridge inspection unit.

  • Down reach 30 metres
  • Platform under reach: 23 metres
  • Overhead working height: 26.5 metres
  • Max basket load: 250 kg


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One way tolls on the road to Lantau Island

Hong Kong motorists have to pay tolls to use many roads and bridges, and the Lantau Link that connects the airport, Lantau Island and the urban areas in Hong Kong is no different. But when the road first opened back in 1997, the tolling arrangements were a little unusual.

Crossing the Ma Wan viaduct towards the Tsing Ma Bridge

A conventional toll plaza was located on the Lantau Island side of the bridge at Tsing Chau Tsai.

Eastbound at the Lantau Link toll plaza

With both ‘Autotoll‘ and cash payments being accepted.

Eastbound autotoll lanes at the Tsing Ma Bridge toll plaza

But due to the road being the only route for cars on and off Lantau Island, motorists were only charged once.

Westbound traffic was free to drive onto Lantau Island, with three lanes left open at the toll plaza.

Westbound toll plaza for the North Lantau Highway

With the return trip toll being paid by eastbound traffic when returning to the mainland.

Eastbound at the Tsing Ma Bridge toll plaza

But in 2017 this was changed, due to the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge.

Entrance to the immersed tube tunnel on the Hong Kong end of the bridge

Which provided a second route for cars to leave Lantau Island.

'Tsing Yi, Zhuhai and Macao' via the North Lantau Highway

So conventional two way tolling arrangements were put in place starting 20 August 2017, with motorists charged half the amount of the previous return toll.

黃偉 photo, via Oriental Daily News

A two minute closure of the Lantau and Ma Wan Toll Plazas was put in place at 00:00 on the night of the changeover, to allow the tolling software to be changed over to the new prices.

Physical changes at the toll plaza were also needed, to construct additional toll booths.

Transport Department diagram, via The Standard

The open westbound traffic lane were closed, and traffic diverted through the ‘mothballed’ toll booths either side.

Felix Wong photo / via SCMP

But despite the advance notice, motorists were caught unaware – with traffic stretching back as far as 15 kilometres away from the toll plaza.

Jason Poon photo / via Oriental Daily News

And the connection to Ma Wan

The island of Ma Wan is located midway between Tsing Yi and Lantau Island.

Apartment blocks of the Park Island development on Ma Wan

With road access provided via the Lantau Link, with east facing entry and exit ramps connected to the Tsing Ma Bridge.

Ramps link the island of Ma Wan to the Tsing Ma Bridge

A toll plaza is located where the ramps join the local road network on Ma Wan.

LJ8652 photo / via 香港巴士大典

And just like the road onto Lantau Island, until 2017 a single return toll was charged for vehicles accessing Ma Wan.

Legislative Council Panel on Transport diagram

But interestingly the toll was charged on arrival. Only authorised vehicles are permitted on the roads of Ma Wan, so presumably a combined toll and permit check was considered a more efficient arrangement.

And another one way toll

Sydney, Australia also has a one way toll arrangement on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

Cliche shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Southbound traffic gets a free ride, which removed the need to provided two sets of toll booths on the constrained site in the Sydney CBD.

Closed toll booths at the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Further reading

From Proposals on Technical Legislative Amendments on Traffic Arrangements for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge dated 24 February 2017

Lantau Link one way toll

At present, the Lantau Link provides the only vehicular access to Lantau (including Chek Lap Kok) and Ma Wan. For the convenience of motorists, one-way toll collection has been implemented since the opening of the Lantau Link in 1997. After the commissioning of the HZMB, vehicles after travelling to Lantau via the Lantau Link can use the HZMB to travel to areas outside Hong Kong and return to Hong Kong through other boundary control points.

Hence, the one-way toll collection of the Lantau Link (including Ma Wan) has to be changed to two-way toll collection (if a vehicle makes use of the Lantau Link for entering and leaving Lantau, the total amount of toll paid by the vehicle for using the Lantau Link will remain unchanged). All vehicles (including taxis) travelling through the Lantau Link has to pay tolls at the Lantau Link Main Toll Plaza when entering and leaving Lantau. Such two-way toll collection is also applicable to vehicles entering and leaving Ma Wan.

According to Schedule 5 to the existing Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374D), a taxi passenger has to pay an additional fare when hiring a taxi which involves the use of the Lantau Link. Since the existing formulation of the additional fare set out at Schedule 5 only applies to one-way toll collection of the Lantau Link, we need to make technical amendment to Schedule 5 to the Regulations to tie in with the implementation of two-way toll collection of the Lantau Link. The level of the additional fare to be paid by a taxi passenger for hiring a taxi which involves the use of the Lantau Link will remain unchanged.

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