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Ocean Park Announces Funicular Tunnel Breakthrough As Part Of Its Master Redevelopment Plan

2008-06-12

Funicular Capacity to Carry 10,000 Guests Per Hour To and From Summit and Waterfront in 3 Minutes!

(12 June 2008 -- Hong Kong) Mr John Tsang, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government, and Dr Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, officiated at a ceremony to mark the breaking through of Hong Kong’s first and only funicular tunnel, which runs within Ocean Park Hong Kong. The 1.2 km tunnel will be the home of the future “Ocean Express” funicular system, which, when completed in 2009, will run parallel to the existing cable car line, to link the Park’s Waterfront and Summit areas (now called “Lowland” and Headland,” respectively.) Also present at the officiating ceremony were Commissioner for Tourism, Miss Au King-chi, JP; and Mr. Nicolas Borit of Dragages Hong Kong Limited, the construction partner for this project.

 "We are very proud of this moment, when we can see the way how nicely this monumental undertaking within our Master Redevelopment Project (MRP) has progressed,” said Dr. Zeman. "With our HK$5.5 billion six-year MRP slated to double the Park’s attractions from the current 35, to over 70, we envisage an incremental rise in guest visitation as the new attractions unfold between now and 2012/13. Today’s breakthrough of the funicular project, which began only less than 200 days ago, is a major construction milestone. When it opens next year, it will redefine the Ocean Park experience for over 5 million plus guests we welcome every year. This tunnel breakthrough will go down in Ocean Park's history as a pivotal point in our development, and we believe it will lead to an even brighter future for Hong Kong's tourism industry, and for the Southern District. This is an immensely proud moment for all of us at Ocean Park, and we are honoured to have our special guests with us today to celebrate this landmark occasion, and to catch the first look of an Ocean Park icon in the making."

"Ocean Express" will be built in a 1.2 km tunnel running across Brick Hill, parallel to the Cable Car. Upon completion, the funicular will enable guests to be transported between the Waterfront and the Summit in just three minutes. The system will have two trains running in each direction, with a maximum carrying capacity of 5,000 guests per hour in each direction. It will play a key role in providing a more efficient transportation facility to the Park’s guests.

"Ocean Express" is not merely a highly efficient mode of in-park transport; the journey itself will be a themed immersion with multimedia and interactive entertainment about marine animals and wildlife conservation - a vibrant reflection of the Park's founding principles to promote conservation and bring guests closer to nature.

Work on the funicular project started on 20 September 2007. Currently, workers are lining the walls of the tunnel and track laying is expected to begin in Fall 2008. The four trains for the system are currently being fabricated in Switzerland. “Ocean Express” is slated for a mid 2009 launch.

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About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique homegrown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 85 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation. Part of the proceeds from the Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.