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Street Escalator

Photos and description

The system of the Hong Kong escalators - the longest in the world indoor network of moving walkways, stretching over 800 metres, rising to a height of 135 metres on a steep inclined roads linking different parts of Hong Kong island.

Street escalator was opened in October 1993, the cost of building six times higher than the original estimate. The whole system is not a continuous escalator, it is a series of 20 movable staircases, and 3 moving walkways, are inclined. They connected with one another in areas of pedestrian bridges, there are 14 inputs and outputs. Travel through the entire length of the escalator system from the initial to the final point it lasts about 20 minutes.

The project, originally called “hillside Escalator link,” was controversial in the first few days after the run was regarded as unsuccessful because it has not reached the main goal - easing traffic congestion between Central and Middle levels of the city. However, the system provided an easy and free way to move the inhabitants of these districts, commuters and tourists, the passenger traffic rose to more than 55,000 people a day, which is twice exceeded the forecasts. Besides, outdoor escalator allows easy access to high points of a hill, which contributed to economic and social growth of the regions through which it passes.

The escalators go from Queen's road in Central to Conduit road in the mid-Levels. Due to the small space in the narrow streets it was impossible to build two escalators. That is why the system works only on the descent from the average level from 6 to 10 am daily, allowing everyone to get to their offices in Central. After 10am, the flow is in reverse, and escalators moving up to midnight.

Second, 800-foot continuous escalator between Conduit street and centre street in SAI Ying POON was designed in 1993 and its completion should coincide with the opening of the nearby harbour the Western harbour crossing in 1997, but the project has not started. In 2011 plans were still under consideration.

For tourists walk on the escalators is great potential to explore the bustling streets of Central Hong Kong's oldest shopping, antique and art district, museums, old buildings, and the contrasting, more relaxed level of mid-Levels.