I've a feeling you might enjoy this:
RE the platform doors, they introduced them on the Jubilee line extension a while back, not sure why they stopped there given their obvious safety advantages, regardless of their ability to stop dirt - too many times I used to read about people getting knocked onto the track at rush hour at stations like Holborn.
On an aside, I was told afew years ago (maybe 98/99) - by an engineer friend so it must be true right - that the MTR was/is geared up to carry about 300,000 people at anytime (i.e. train capacity, not station capacity) compared to London Undergrounds measly 70,000. I imagine this figure for HK has increased significantly since all the new lines that have opened up since then.
No wonder the tube gets so claustrophobic. I still don't understand why they don't rip out all those upholstered seats (which tend to attract all kinds of stuff and take up way too much space anyway) and go like the MTR -> easy to clean metal seats (should be useful on the tube given the number of times I have seen people puking on them) and carriages that have standing space where they join onto one another.
Last edited by Pekkerhead; 28-11-2007 at 09:01 PM.
Someone did mention the Tai Wai KCR station as a product of advanced planning, problem is it's at capacity now at rush hour and god knows what will happen when another 50,000 people are living directly above it - sheer hell! Not quite as advance planning as some would like to think. I'll be out of Tai Wai before then, I'm already getting bored with escalators turned off now and again because no more people can get on the platform.
I do agree with sentiments about London though, even though it's my home city. The M25 built capacity, as mentioned, was produced based on the usage of the M1 20 years before the road was built. The underground, a product of Victorian England, is desperate for an overhall, in fact new lines should be built and rolling stock bought in. One thing London does have, and keep, is it's rich and diverse history. A walk down Picadilly, being able to look at beautiful 100 - 400 year old buildings in different styles is something you can never do here. There is a charm that makes it what it is and it's certainly more cosmopolitan than HK.
That said, I'm going back at Christmas and not looking forward to it. Been a few years and apart from family I'd have no reason to go back. I'm just a tourist there now!
There are some things I like about the tube - it's a funky design (the way it really is a tube), I dig the Victorian griminess and winding subterranean feel. The open-air Piccadilly line stations are wonderful - light, open and often green.
The MTR's efficient, but there are way too many announcements/warnings. Crowding being equal, I think it's easier to read on the tube.
Frankly, London has soul, which HK lacks. Despite having chosen to live here, I have to say that it's completely charmless.
For me personally I would prefer a clean, modern ( large trains ), fast moving ( a zip quick thing with Octopus ), fresh smelling and finally very very cheap with integrated ( Octopus again ) cheap, quick bus service to get me from a - b without hassle. London is quaint. Quaint is for museums to see how things used to be, with a warm fuzzy feeling whilst not having to put up with the reality of hot, smelly, windy smelly , windy polluted smelly atmosphere akin to sucking on a bus tail pipe.
I think we all know that to "upgrade" the system would take the entire national budget with 20 yrs of chaos. Only a dictator could achieve it which is a crying shame because its a min of 50yrs overdue.
I love my country and have served it with pride. It makes me cry to see that we as a nation are parked in a dim, damp and soulless cul de sac with seemingly no way to turn around and go forward.