MTR Corporation Limited
FormerlyMass Transit Railway Corporation (1972–2000)
TypePublic; Government-owned corporation
Founded22 September 1972; 50 years ago (1972-09-22)
33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay, New Kowloon, Hong Kong
Area served
Worldwide, including:
Key people
RevenueHK$55.4 billion (December 2017)[1]
HK$10.5 billion (December 2017)
Total assetsHK$263.768 billion (December 2017)
Number of employees
28,053 (June 2017)
MTR Corporation
Traditional Chinese香港鐵路有限公司
Simplified Chinese香港铁路有限公司
Literal meaningHong Kong Railway Corporation Limited

MTR Corporation Limited is a majority government-owned public transport operator and property developer in Hong Kong which operates the Mass Transit Railway, the most popular public transport network in Hong Kong. It is listed on the Hong Kong Exchange and is a component of the Hang Seng Index. The MTR additionally invests in railways across different parts of the world, including franchised contracts to operate rapid transit systems in London, Sweden (Stockholm Metro and the MTRX Stockholm–Gothenburg rail link), Beijing, Hangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen, Sydney, and a suburban rail system in Melbourne.


The Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Chinese: 地下鐵路公司) was established on 22 September 1972 as a government-owned statutory corporation to build and operate a mass transit railway system to meet Hong Kong's public transport needs. On 30 June 2000, the MTRC was succeeded by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL, 地下鐵路有限公司). As with the MTRC, the MTRCL's principal business is to operate the mass transit railway system. Following a successful initial public offering, the MTRCL was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 5 October 2000, however the government is still the majority stakeholder in the MTRCL.

Partial privatisation

On 11 September 2000, the financial secretary of the Hong Kong Government, Sir Donald Tsang, announced the partial privatisation of MTR Corporation Limited.[2] The offering was for one billion shares, but this was increased to 1.15 billion due to high demand.[3] On 5 October 2000, the company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with 600,000 shareholders. In June 2001, MTR was added to the Hang Seng Index.

At the time of the initial public offering, the company was operating with a surplus of HK$360 million (US$46.1 million), which had increased from a surplus of HK$278 million (US$35.6 million) in 1997. The MTR has continued to be one of the few profitable public transport systems in the world.[4]

MTR–KCR merger

Main article: MTR–KCR merger

Railway network after merger
Railway network after merger
Ticket gates at key interchange stations have been removed one year after the merger
Ticket gates at key interchange stations have been removed one year after the merger

There had been some discussion of merging the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), which was also government-owned, and the MTRCL to make the territory's transport system more efficient. The MTRCL backed such a merger while the KCRC opposed the plan. In March 2004, the Hong Kong Government officially encouraged the two companies to merge.

On 11 April 2006, the Hong Kong Government officially announced the details of the proposed merger. Under the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding the government has signed with KCRC, KCRC would grant a service concession to the MTRCL to operate the Kowloon–Canton Railway (KCR) system, with an initial period of 50 years. The KCRC would receive a one-time upfront payment of HK$4.25 billion, a fixed annual payment of HK$750 million and a variable annual payment based on revenues generated from operation of the KCR system. In addition, MTRCL would make a payment of $7.79 billion for the acquisition of property and other related commercial interests.[5]

The KCRC's lines were less profitable than those of the MTRC, and the KCRC was less active in property development. It was widely considered that the government's choice was to avoid being criticised for selling assets of the KCRC, which it wholly owned, to MTRCL for an unreasonably low price. Leasing the operation rights of the KCR system to the MTRCL avoided actually selling the KCRC.[citation needed]

On 2 December 2007, the Chinese name of the MTRCL was changed to 香港鐵路有限公司[6] (literal translation: Hong Kong Railway Corporation Limited) after being granted the Service Concession while the English name will remain unchanged.[7][8] The KCRC is now a holding company of the KCR system, without actual railway operations. The merger was approved by shareholders of the MTRCL on 9 October 2007. The merger is effective for 50 years. This also resulted in changing the system's Chinese name from "地鐵" ("Subway") to "港鐵" "(Hong Kong Railway").

All adult Octopus Card holders would be the first to benefit from the merger.[9] Student and concessionary Octopus holders would also benefit from the merger by further reducing $0.1 from their 50% off fares.[10] Student Octopus holders would continue to pay the current reduced concessionary fares on the MTR network. Elderly Octopus holders would be introduced to a new fare system which only the elderly can enjoy a $2 fare to anywhere on the MTR network (excluding Airport Express, Light Rail, and Cross-Boundary Stations).[11]

Revenue model

In July 2021, Liber Research Community, an NGO, produced a report which detailed the history of MTR's revenue model.[12] In it, it reported that the "Rail + Property" development model was originally formed to offset unexpected financial difficulties with creating the original MTR lines, with original estimates that MTR's property would account for approximately 20 per cent of its total revenue.[12]

The Executive Council also determined that since MTR had to apply for land grants from the government, it was the government's decision on how land above MTR stations should be allocated, stating "the grant of comprehensive development rights on land affected by railway installations will be discretionary".[12] Land above stations would not necessarily be used to build private housing to maximize MTR's revenue, but could be used to solve issues of housing in Hong Kong, such as by developing public housing instead.[12] The Executive Council also noted that "revenue from property development was not originally envisaged as being used as a means of financing the capital cost of the railway itself" and that revenue from property development was to be used for a "contingency reserve", such as for offsetting excessive construction costs.[12]

The report noted that 40 per cent of MTR's revenue is currently from property, and that the original intent of using property revenue for contingency purposes had shifted into a different, unsustainable model where property is used to subsidise operations and construction of new stations.[12]

Senior leadership

List of former chairmen

  1. Sir Philip Haddon-Cave (1972–1974); project manager
  2. Sir Norman Thompson (1974–1983); first official Chairman
  3. Sir Wilfrid Newton (1983–1989)
  4. Hamish Mathers (1989–1995)
  5. Jack So (1995–2003)
  6. Raymond Ch'ien (2003–2015)
  7. Frederick Ma (2016–2019)

List of former chief executives

The position of Chief Executive was created in 1995.

  1. Jack So (1995–2003)
  2. Sir Chow Chung-kong (2003–2011)
  3. Jay Walder (2012–2014)
  4. Lincoln Leong (2015–2019)

Operations by market

Hong Kong

World Wide House, built by the MTR Corporation Limited.
World Wide House, built by the MTR Corporation Limited.

MTR Corporation is responsible for the operation of MTR (and the Kowloon–Canton Railway since 2 December 2007). The rail lines are profitable, but the MTR Corporation derives most of its profits from property development (usually adjacent to railway stations) and other commercial activities in Hong Kong, including the letting of retail and poster advertising space, ATM banking facilities, and personal telecommunication services[citation needed].

Rail services

Main article: MTR

Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Originally opened in 1979, the system currently (at August 2018) includes 221 km (137 mi) of rail with 159 stations, including 91 railway stations and 68 light rail stops.[13] There are also several future projects of the MTR.

Property management

Main article: MTR Properties

Property is one of the main businesses of the MTR generating most of the profits. In 2009 of a net profit of HK$7.3 billion, MTR made HK$3.55 billion from property and HK$2.12 billion from transport operations.[14] The MTR tries to develop suitable sites related to their new railway projects and their existing railway. For instance, the reclaimed land situated in West Kowloon owned by the MTR will be developed into an area with residential, office and retail space. Two of Hong Kong's largest banks, HSBC and the Bank of China are to have office towers there. Furthermore, will be more than 7,000 housing units in the development. The MTR also owns several shopping centres, as well as the International Finance Centre[citation needed].

Shopping centres
This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (November 2021)

The MTR Corporation invested heavily to develop large shopping centres around MTR stations. The most recent example is the PopCorn mall located at Tseung Kwan O station. It is connected to the adjacent malls, high-end housing and hotels. Another example of such a shopping centre is Maritime Square (青衣城) located at Tsing Yi station. Maritime Square is a nautical-themed mall in which there are supermarkets, boutiques, bookstores, a cinema, and restaurants. Since Tsing Yi station serves as the transport hub for Tsing Yi, Maritime Square is also easily accessible by other transport means including buses and taxis. Other shopping centres developed and managed by the corporation include CityLink, Elements, Hanford Plaza, Ocean Walk, Paradise Mall, Plaza Ascot, Sun Tuen Mun Shopping Centre, Telford Plaza, The Lane, the LOHAS, and Luk Yeung Galleria.

United Kingdom

MTR Crossrail logo
MTR Crossrail logo

Current operations

Former operations

Unsuccessful or withdrawn bids


MTR Nordic AB is a subsidiary of MTR Corporation UK based in Stockholm[33] that operates in the public transportation sector through four subsidiaries. The CEO of MTR Nordic is Henrik Dahlin.[34]


China Mainland

Beijing MTR Corporation Limited
Hangzhou MTR Corporation Limited
MTR Corporation (Shenzhen) Limited
TypePublic company
IndustryTransport, property
FoundedBeijing (16 January 2006 (2006-01-16))
Hangzhou (6 September 2012 (2012-09-06))
Shenzhen (1 July 2010 (2010-07-01))
(Beijing, Hangzhou, & Shenzhen)
Area served
Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen
WebsiteBeijing MTR
Hangzhou MTR
MTR (Shenzhen)


The company has also formed a joint-venture Beijing MTR Corporation Limited (49%) with Beijing Capital Group ("BCG") (49%) and the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co ("BIIC") (2%) to build and operate for 30 years Line 4, Daxing line, Line 14, Line 16 and Line 17[57][58] of the Beijing Subway.


The company formed a new joint-venture Hangzhou MTR with Hangzhou Metro Group in 2012 to operate Line 1 of the Hangzhou Metro for 28 years, in which MTR holds 49% of the stock, while Hangzhou Metro Group holds the other 51% of the stock. Line 5 of the Hangzhou Metro is operated by Hangzhou MTR Line 5 Ltd, which MTR holds 60% of the stock[citation needed].


The company concluded initials concession agreement to build phase 2 of the Line 4 of the Shenzhen Metro, and to operate the whole line on a BOT basis for 30 years from 1 July 2010. The phase 2 of Line 4 have been in operation for passengers since 16 June 2011. Line 13, which is currently under construction, is also confirmed to be operated by MTR Corporation (Shenzhen).[59]


MTR Railway Operations (Macau)
 Company Limited
TypePublic company
Founded11 April 2018 (2018-04-11)
Area served
WebsiteMTR (Macau)

MTR Railway Operations (Macau) Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation, operates the Taipa Line of the Macau Light Rapid Transit (MLRT or MLM) in Macau since the line's opening on 10 December 2019. MTR will operate and maintain the line for 80 months.[60]


  1. ^ 2017 Financial Highlights MTR Annual Report 2017, Retrieved 2018-05-24
  2. ^ "MTR Privatisation Share Offer (NOT for distribution outside Hong Kong)" (Press release). Hong Kong SAR Government. 11 September 2000. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Executive Management's Report – Business Overview" (PDF). Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  4. ^ "How Hong Kong's subway turns a $2 billion annual profit". CNN. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Press Release: Government has reached understanding with MTRCL on the terms for merging the MTR and KCR systems". Hong Kong SAR Government. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  6. ^ "Rail Merger Bill" (PDF). Legislation Council of the Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
  7. ^ "Appointments announced for post-merger MTR Corporation Limited" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 8 August 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2007. (Comparing with the Chinese version)
  8. ^ "Rail Merger Bill to be introduced into Legco (English name remain MTR)" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 8 June 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2007. (Comparing with the Chinese version Archived 9 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine)
  9. ^ Railway Merger Proposal in Hong Kong Gets Green Light, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in United States.
  10. ^ Fact Sheet (Eng), Merger of the MTR and KCR systems.
  11. ^ Elders ride on the MTR on Sundays and public holidays for just $2 for the whole journey.
  12. ^ a b c d e f lrcresearcher (6 July 2021). "還原「物業帶動鐵路」的歷史時空". Liber Research Community (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  13. ^ "MTR Railway Network". MTR. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  14. ^ Ng, Jeffery (9 March 2010). "MTR Posts 16% Rise in Profit, Plans to Offer 5,000 Apartments". The Wall Street Journal.
  15. ^ "MTR selected to operate Crossrail services". Railway Gazette International. 18 July 2014.
  16. ^ "FirstGroup and MTR welcome South Western rail franchise award" (Press release). London Stock Exchange. 27 March 2017. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018.
  17. ^ "MTR Laing wins London Overground" Railway Gazette International July 2007 page 408
  18. ^ Four bidders shortlisted for London Overground operating concesssion Railway Gazette International 29 June 2015
  19. ^ TfL announces Overground Shortlist Railnews 30 June 2015
  20. ^ Arriva wins £1.5bn London Overground contract BBC News 18 March 2016
  21. ^ Transport for London announces intention to award London Overground contract to Arriva Arriva 18 March 2016
  22. ^ "GNER joins Hong Kong's MTR to bid for new Kent rail franchise" Rail issue 502 8 December 2004 page 6
  23. ^ "MTR pulls out of West Midlands bid" The Railway Magazine issue 1269 January 2007 page 6
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  25. ^ "ScotRail franchise shortlist named". BBC News. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  26. ^ East Japan Railway on West Midlands franchise shortlist Railway Gazette International 7 April 2016
  27. ^ "MTR withdraws from West Midlands bidding"Modern Railways issue 815 August 2016 page 21
  28. ^ Wales & Borders bidders asked to propose Metro options Railway Gazette International 13 October 2016
  29. ^ West Coast Partnership and South Eastern rail franchise bidders Department for Transport 22 June 2017
  30. ^ Three shortlisted for West Coast Partnership franchise Railway Gazette International 22 June 2017
  31. ^ "MTR teams up with operator of Europe's largest high speed rail network for West Coast Partnership bid". MTR Europe. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  32. ^ FirstGroup consortium to replace Virgin on west coast mainline Guardian 14 August 2019 FirstGroup consortium to replace Virgin on west coast mainline] Guardian 14 August 2019
  33. ^ "Contact us". MTR Nordic (in Swedish). Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  34. ^ "Henrik Dahlin ny vd för MTR Nordic AB". MTR Nordic (mynewsdesk) (in Swedish). 20 January 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  35. ^ "Hongkong-bolag vann t-banekontrakt värt 36 miljarder (Swedish)". Svenska Dagbladet. 20 January 2009.
  36. ^ "Hong Kong operator in Stockholm" The Railway Magazine issue 1296 April 2009 page 93
  37. ^ MTR's Stockholm metro contract extended Railway Gazette International 29 September 2015
  38. ^ "MTR får förlängt förtroende till 2023". Mynewsdesk (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  39. ^ MTR Brings Stockholm Metro Rolling Stock Maintenance Fully in House MTR 25 January 2016
  40. ^ MTR to take full ownership of Stockholm Metro in Sweden Rail Technology 27 January 2016
  41. ^ "Nya t-banechefens mål 99,7 procents punktlighet". DN.SE (in Swedish). 28 October 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  42. ^ "Caroline Åstrand ny VD för MTR Tunnelbanan". MTR Nordic (mynewsdesk) (in Swedish). 16 January 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  43. ^ Home MTR Express
  44. ^ MTR launches open access inter-city service Railway Gazette International 23 March 2015
  45. ^ MTR Express orders Flirts for Stockholm-Goteborg open access service Railway Gazette International 13 November 2013
  46. ^ "VD-byten inom MTR-koncernen – Mats Johannesson tar över vd-rollen på MTR Pendeltågen och Joakim Sundh blir ny vd på MTRX". MTR Nordic (mynewsdesk) (in Swedish). 21 January 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
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  56. ^ Project Overview Sydney Metro
  57. ^ "确定了!北京地铁17号线,京港地铁公司运营". 30 December 2019.
  58. ^ website of Beijing MTR Corporation Limited Archived 6 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  59. ^ "港铁咨询公司联合体中标深圳市轨道交通13号线公私合营项目". 3 August 2020.
  60. ^ "About Macao Light Rapid Transit (Macao LRT)". MTR Macau. Retrieved 11 December 2019.

MTR Properties and MTR Property Management