JCP Case Studies | Beating Time, Budget and Expectations for Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway Corporation

Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC)

Beating time, budget and expectations for Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway Corporation.


At the time of our involvement, this project was one of the largest construction projects in the world. At £2.34 billion, the extension to Hong Kong’s Metro system required input from international contractors, consultants and suppliers.

JCP was appointed as Partnering Advisors and Consultants, specifically to:

  • Introduce partnering and alliancing practices
  • Change the culture within the MTRC Project Division
  • Identify, introduce and support behaviours critical to project success


The scale of the task was vast, working with companies from the UK, France, South Korea, China, Australia and Japan, and with engineering specialists in tunnels, stations and signals works. Success depended not just on the ability to develop the alliance but to help all partners understand the benefits of the approach and the importance of maintaining it. To this end, a change of culture within the MTRC would also be necessary.

We planned a focused approach:

  • Running partnering events, reviews and coaching sessions for individual stages of the project, always with the emphasis on behavioural changes needed to support success.
  • Developing relationship tools and methods to allow the client to monitor and improve working behaviours.
  • Introducing cross-project and inter-company cooperation to move towards a strategic alliance working style.
  • Strengthening internal project management processes, challenging and supporting improvement.
  • Key sub-contractors and suppliers were an essential part of the partnering, with many outstanding examples of supply chain co-operation.
  • Working with government authorities to improve understanding and to define progress.


The project was an outstanding success and exceeded expectations and plans. People were willing and able to change their behaviours to innovate and co-operate. Key achievements include:

  • Completion four months ahead of the approved timetable.
  • Extension opened to the public 10 weeks ahead of the original plans, producing an earlier income stream than envisaged.
  • Anticipated savings of over HK$13.5m with much of it a result of the partnering philosophy.
  • A significantly improved claims culture, with fewer claims than previous MTRC projects.
  • Early resolution of final accounts, with many being concluded before completion of the actual work.
  • Higher standards of quality demonstrated by lower rejection rates and well within programme.
  • Zero physical defects noted in all inspections of ancillary buildings and stations by Fire Services department, which represents an industry first.
  • Tangible benefits for, and less disruption, to many of the communities in which the construction works were taking place.
  • A much-improved attitude and approach to site safety within individual contracts and across the project.
MTRC logo

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Major Projects Association
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Institute of Civil Engineers