In preparation for the upcoming typhoon season, the MTR Corporation has put in place a number of measures to minimise the impacts from adverse weather on railway facilities and services. New tree management technology has also been introduced to further enhance preventive maintenance and contingency measures along open sections of railway lines.
Fallen trees are one of the major challenges facing train services during adverse weather. The MTR Corporation’s Tree Management Team monitors around 33,000 trees along the open sections of various railway lines. With the use of Near-field Communication (NFC) technology, each tree is assigned an “electronic ID card” which contains information including its height, distance from the railway line, health condition and so on. This enables maintenance staff to effectively retrieve and update information with a mobile phone or tablet equipped with NFC function during regular checks on the vegetation. Analysis of the data collected can help the team to form and adjust its tree management strategy.
Mr Rick Wong, Head of Infrastructure Works of the MTR Corporation, said the Corporation is also collaborating with meteorologists from the City University of Hong Kong to analyse historical data of typhoons through computer modelling.
“We aim to develop a Risk Map for trees along railway lines depending on the paths of severe typhoons and their wind direction. This would allow the tree management team to strengthen tree management at strategic locations for more effective recovery after severe typhoons,” he added.