Laing O’Rourke has delivered major metropolitan commuter rail projects around the globe. One of the most complex was 45 metres below the centre of the Hong Kong CBD.

South Island Line
Hong Kong
At a glance

Hong Kong underground: Collaboration runs deep

Laing O’Rourke, in a joint venture with Kier Construction Ltd and Kaden Construction Ltd, was responsible for the delivery of a major metropolitan commuter rail project for one of the world’s leading metro operators.

The project, in the heart of Hong Kong's Central district, transformed the existing Admiralty Station through the addition of new rail tunnels and platforms, as well as adding a major, below-ground interchange concourse and circulation area.

All about the stakeholders

In one of the world’s most densely populated cities there are countless stakeholders. Noise and vibration limits have to be respected. Live rail lines and tunnels must continue to operate without disruption.

Residential and business neighbours were brought on board at all stages of planning and delivery. A 24-hour feedback and alerts system, via e-mail and SMS, allowed preventative action to be taken in the event that limits were being approached.

Noise enclosures were designed and installed around the site, meaning works could take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without being heard at the site boundary.

The result

Admiralty Station now serves as interchange station for four MTR lines: the existing Island Line and Tsuen Wan Line as well as the new South Island Line and the Shatin to Central Line.

Despite challenges, the project received a number of safety awards throughout delivery, no small feat having inducted over 12,000 people.

The project won the Specialist Tunnelling Project of the Year at the NCE 2015 Tunnelling and Underground Space Awards.

The project in numbers

  • 840,000 tonnes of soft and hard rock excavated over three-and-a-half years
  • 21 excavators on site at peak
  • 10 metres – distance of some excavations from live tunnels
  • 570 blasts to enable excavation
  • 200 tonnes of explosives utilised
  • 192,000 blast holes drilled
  • 10 safety staff
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

tonnes of soft and hard rock excavated


tonnes of explosives utilised


blast holes drilled