The South Island Line (East) project, Hong Kong

Aurecon helps to create more accessible transport with new rail line for communities in Hong Kong

  • Admiralty Station (Contract 901) and Ap Lei Chau (Contract 904)
  • Aurecon's role: geotechnical, civil and tunnel engineering services
  • Clients: Kier-Laing O’Rourke-Kaden Joint Venture & Leighton John Holland Joint Venture

In December 2016, MTR Corporation’s South Island Line (East) project completed construction and began operations, giving the people of Hong Kong additional public transport services from the Southern District of Hong Kong Island to the existing MTR network at Admiralty Station. The expectation is this new line will transport approximately 170 000 passengers per day.

“With the opening of the South Island Line, MTR’s railway service will reach all 18 districts of Hong Kong. Passengers can enjoy more seamless and convenient journeys as they travel to different corners of the city,” said MTR Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen.

The line was constructed using a combination of drill and blast, mechanical excavation and cut and cover techniques.

South Island Line (East): Admiralty Station (Contract 901)

A vital element of the South Island Line (East) (SIL(E)) project was the extension of the existing Admiralty Station to facilitate interchange between the SIL, the future Shatin to Central Link, and the existing Island Line and Tsuen Wan Line. Contract 901 involved complex tunnelling within a high-density built environment, further complicated by an interface with an existing operational railway.

Aurecon provided geotechnical, civil and tunnel engineering for Contract 901 for Contractor Kier-Laing O’Rourke-Kaden Joint Venture. The scope of services carried out by Aurecon included a review of geotechnical data and hydrogeological assessments, design of temporary rock support for the 25-metre-span station cavern, platform tunnels, overrun tunnels, and alternative alignments for the supplementary emergency entrance as well as means of egress adits.

Understanding the in-situ ground conditions and controlling ground movement were vital. Aurecon developed a comprehensive and robust multi-staged methodology for design of the temporary ground support with state-of-the-art numerical modelling.

South Island Line (East): Ap Lei Chau (Contract 904)

Contract 904 involved tunnels and two new stations located on Ap Lei Chau. The works measured approximately 1.2 km and it was constructed by a combination of drill and blast, mechanical excavation, and cut and cover tunnelling techniques. Apart from the main line tunnels, Contract 904 also included many access and ventilation adits, and the Lei Tung cavern.

Aurecon was appointed by Leighton John Holland Joint Venture acting as the contractor’s designer, the role included a review of geotechnical data, temporary rock support design for cavern, main line tunnels and station entrance adits. The design of temporary rock support for the mixed ground tunnels accommodated a station span of almost 25 m, and optimised the permanent lining design.

Benefit of the South Island Line (East)

The HK$16.5 billion line, operating with driverless three-carriage trains, runs from South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau to Admiralty via the other three new stations at Lei Tung, Wong Chuk Hang and Ocean Park.

With the new railway line, passengers can travel from South Horizons to Admiralty in approximately nine minutes, as compared with the 25 to 45 minutes taken by using road transport during rush hours.

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