Our response to the report on the derailment of the East Rail Line on September 17th, 2019

Updated: Jun 17

2020.03.03

On March 3rd the MTRC officially publicized its investigative report into the derailment incident on the East Rail Line last September. The investigation discovered that the derailment was mainly due to the widening of the track gauge.


Legislative Councillor Ben CHAN believes that this incident was clearly caused by human error.  The report showed that there were three major mistakes committed by the MTRC management and East Rail repair team.  First, maintenance staff made careless mistakes.  They fixed the widened gap according to their personal experience rather than measurement data while they had an insufficient understanding of the track widening problem.  Second, maintenance staff purposely concealed the fact that they did not strictly follow the necessary procedures while performing follow up inspection, repairing the gap and reporting to their superiors.  Third, monitoring was lax and workers down the chain of command did not follow the prescribed norms and procedures for reporting any issues on the front line.  The management team failed to effectively monitor the work teams and failed to act on their responsibility to do so.


Ben CHAN emphasized that “the MTR is an important transportation system for commuters and we find it very difficult to accept that the MTRC could mediocrely ‘muddle along’ on such important and routine repair work”.  On top of quickly implementing the many measures proposed in the report for preventing such accidents from happening again, Ben CHAN believes the most important issue is the MTRC must thoroughly reform itself top to bottom in their administrative, management and operational fields.  If not, the general public may no longer have confidence in the safety of the MTR.

Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor Ben Chan 9274 7035

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