MTR installs “water infiltration sensors” at 26 stations to tackle severe weather conditions

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Insert picture: Ben Lui.

21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong) In preparation for the upcoming typhoon season, Mass Transit Railway (MTR) has announced a series of measures to cope with adverse weather conditions. The MTR has installed “water infiltration sensors” at 26 stations, specifically at 42 entrances and exits with a higher risk of water ingress. Additionally, the MTR will immediately suspend train services on open-air sections when the Number 9 typhoon signal or higher is in effect. In situations where it is safe to do so, trains in operation will be directed towards their original terminal stations or connected shopping mall stations, such as Yuen Long and Sha Tin stations.

According to Ben Lui Gon-yee, the MTR’s Head of Line Group Management – Urban Line, the identification of the 26 stations and 42 entrances/exits with a higher risk of water infiltration was based on lessons learned from last year’s torrential rain and typhoon incidents. Water infiltration sensors have been installed at selected entrances and exits of these stations, including Wong Tai Sin Station on the Kwun Tong Line, Sham Shui Po Station on the Tsuen Wan Line, Sai Wan Ho Station on the Island Line, and Tai Wai Station on the Tuen Ma Line, to enhance early warning capabilities.

Lui explained that the water infiltration sensors are installed one level above the ground at the entrances and exits. When the sensors come into contact with water, they emit alerts, prompting the station control room to dispatch personnel to inspect the respective entrances and exits. If water infiltration is detected, appropriate measures, such as the deployment of flood barriers, will be taken. Lui further stated that MTR staff have conducted detailed inspections of station drainage systems and nearby channels, and all MTR stations have completed this year’s disaster response training for catastrophic flooding.

In response to the significant impact experienced at Wong Tai Sin Station during the historic torrential rain in September of last year, Lui noted that apart from installing water infiltration sensors at three entrances and exits of Wong Tai Sin Station, additional flood barriers will be added outside the existing waterproof doors of Exit B3. Furthermore, a “automatic flood barrier” system will be implemented in that area, expected to be trialed in the third quarter of this year.

Regarding service arrangements during typhoon periods, the MTR will promptly suspend train services on open-air sections when the Number 9 typhoon signal or higher is hoisted. Trains that have already departed will not travel on open-air sections, and in safe conditions, in-service trains will be directed to their original terminal stations or connected shopping mall stations.