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Two stations on the future Sha Tin to Central MTR rail link have been renamed in response to views from the local community.
On the HK$79.8 billion project that links up Tai Wai, east Kowloon and Admiralty, two stations originally dubbed “To Kwa Wan” and “Ma Tau Wai” have been renamed “Sung Wong Toi” and “To Kwa Wan” respectively.
The old names had been used since a public consultation for the project in 2008.
The construction of the new 17km link, which comprises 10 stations and connects existing railway lines to form east-west and north-south corridors with six interchange stations, began in 2012.
The MTR said earlier this month that the Hung Hom to Tai Wai section, or the east-west section, was due to be finished by the middle of 2019, while the remaining section, which would cross the harbour from Hung Hom via an undersea tunnel to Admiralty, was due to be completed by 2021. The MTR is expected to update the government with its latest cost estimate, which lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said he expected to overrun by at least HK$10 billion.
The names for the two stations on the Tai Wai to Hung Hom segment of the link had caused controversy among community members, who held that the original “Ma Tau Wai” station should have been named “To Kwa Wan” because the station was located near To Kwa Wan Market.
At a topping-out ceremony to mark the structural completion of those two stations, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing Joseph Lai Yee-tak said the bureau was aware of the local community’s aspiration for a station that could reflect its characteristics as a monument of the Sung dynasty, so the government had decided to name a station “Sung Wong Toi”.
The Sung Wong Toi boulder, or literally the “Terrace of the Sung emperors”, stands as a memorial to the last two emperors of the Sung dynasty, who fled from Fuzhou to Hong Kong to escape invading Mongol troops in 1277.
Lai added: “To address the views of the district council and local residents, the government has also decided to rename Ma Tau Wai Station as To Kwa Wan Station. We hope these names will add a local touch to the stations, and they will become an integral part of the local community.”
In a document to Legco’s subcommittee on matters relating to railways, MTR Corporation said it had considered views from the local community about the naming and had made reference to the geographical locations, historical significance and the local naming practice. The company and the bureau said they made the changes, which would better reflect the characteristics and practice in the local district and would also be a commemoration of the archaeological finds discovered att the station construction site dating to the Sung and Yuan dynasties.
This article first appeared on www.scmp.com
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