Clock Tower of KCR Terminus [1921- ]

Submitted by philk on Fri, 10/17/2008 - 20:13
Current condition
In use
Date completed

Obviously back in 1952, when Booth first arrived in HK, the impressive terminus building was still standing.

Photos that show this Place


Judging by this photo, the Signal Tower on Signal Hill was indeed visible from the Pen. You can see it on the far right of the photo.

The Sheraton amongst other buildings, mean this line of sight is no longer available.

For anyone who hasn't made it out to the back of beyond in Tai Po. The Railway Museum, which occupies the plot of land which was formerly Tai Po station, has some old carriages on display which include a first class carriage from the 50's.


Hi there,

There used to be a Bell in the Clock Tower.  When the Hung Hom Terminus was inaugurated it had been on displayed for a while.  I have an impression that it was moved to the Shatin Station/New Towm Plaza mall when the New Town Plaza opened.

A few years ago, I saw the bell on display in the lower level of the replica of the Repulse Bay Hotel.  Don't know if it is still there now.  There is a Chinese entry in Wiki's saying the Bell is currently in MTR's Ho Tung Lau depot, however.   I'll try to confirm the next time I'm in Repulse Bay.

Best Regards,


That's an interesting story. Was that when the rest of the station building was still standing?

I wonder if they timed the most painful extractions to coincide with the chimes of the clock, drowning out the screams!!

  The bell from the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui has returned home after 35 years. The relocation follows the donation of the bell by the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) to the Government.

     Officiating at the relocation ceremony today (September 17), the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said, "For many, the bell may evoke very precious memories. It has served an important role as part of Hong Kong's public transport history."

     The bell was produced in the United Kingdom and arrived in Hong Kong in 1920. It began operation in the Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower in 1921 as part of the Tsim Sha Tsui railway terminus. It chimed round the clock at 15-minute intervals.

     In 1975, the bell ceased operation when the railway terminus was relocated to Hung Hom. It has been moved several times since then and had been on public display at railway stations in Hung Hom and Sha Tin until 1995, when it was moved to the Railway House in Fo Tan.

     Mrs Lam said the return of the bell enhanced the historical significance of the clock tower, which has been a declared monument since 1990.  She thanked KCRC and MTRC for making the relocation possible.  

     The donation of the bell also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Kowloon-Canton Railway services.

Ends/Friday, September 17, 2010

The 1915 document Report of the Public Works Committee on a Turret Clock for the Kowloon Railway Station describes the initial request for the clock in the station's clock tower, but that the committee postponed the purchase based on the Governor's suggestion: "as the Railway was still far from being a paying concern and as the clock would have to be paid for out of borrowed money, the matter should be deferred for the present."

My fourth book includes a photo of the clock tower, and my comment that it "started operation at a very numerically satisfying time: 3pm on 21 March 1921, or 3 21-3-21 !".

A reader asked for the source of this time and date. It was reported in the local newspapers, eg this article on page 6 of the The Hong Kong Telegraph, 1921-03-22:


A Remarkable Apparatus.

The electric clock which has been installed in the tower of Kowloon  Railway Station was launched upon its career at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and a Press inspection of the apparatus was held this morning under the guidance of Mr. Geo. A. Walker, the Traffic Superintendent, Mr. H. P. Winslow, the Manager, and Mr. Robert Baker, Engineer of the Kowloon-Canton Railway, likewise Mr. T. F. Claxton, Director of the Royal Observatory, were also present. The mechanism proved to be of a highly interesting character—elaborate in detail, yet simple in principle.

The clock was supplied by Messrs. Gent &. Co. Ltd. of Leicester, England, makers of the largest electric clock in the world (viz—the clock over the Royal Liver Building, Liverpool), and was erected by Mr. Baker, Engineer of the Kowloon-Canton Railway.

The four dials are 8 feet in diameter. The clock is connected in series with the existing system of pulsynetic electric impulse clocks which are fixed in the station concourse and in all offices.

All the clocks, including the turret clock, are controlled by a transmitter, or master clock, which in turn is automatically regulated by hourly signals from the Royal Observatory.

No winding whatever is required. At each half-minute the master clock transmits an impulse from a battery, which gives the pendulum sufficient impetus to maintain its swing and at the same time advances all clocks in the circuit half a minute.

Whilst the transmitter actually drives all other clocks, it only controls the turret clock. This clock is driven by a "waiting train" movement. The "power factor" of the "waiting train" movement is an electrically-driven pendulum (termed a motor pendulum), the function of which is not to keep time, but to drive, by means of a pawl, a ratchet wheel, tooth by tooth, at each vibration; the ratchet wheel, in turn, by means of worm gearing, driving the hands of the clock. The motor pendulum is, by a simple device, re-energised by an electro-magnet when its oscillations fall below a predetermined arc and automatically produces additional driving power when such is required to meet the resistance given to the hands by adverse weather conditions. The gear ratio is such that the minute-hand is driven through a half minute space on the dials in approximately 27 seconds. The pawl of the motor pendulum is then automatically lifted out of engagement with the ratchet wheel, so that; although the motor pendulum maintains its action, the hands remain stationery for two or three seconds, locked by the warm gear. A current impulse from the transmitter, dead on the half-minute, (which at the same time advances all other clocks) releases the pawl and the hands are driven forward for another half minute on the dials.

The striking mechanism is operated by an electric motor, which is also under the control of the transmitter. A cam rotated by the motor operates a lever, which in turn - by means of a wire connection - lifts a drop hammer, which falls by its own weight and strikes the bell.

Illumination is controlled by an automatic switch with special gear, which automatically changes the time of switching on and off to suit the gradual change of the seasons. 

The illumination arrangements are expected to be completed in a few days.

One may notice there was a colonnade between the TST train station and the Star ferry pier. It was removed in the 1950s. The exact year was 1955 as reported in this news report to prepare for the reconstruction of the star ferry pier:

1955-5-27 tst train station colonade demolished
1955-5-27 tst train station colonade demolished, by simtang
tst train station colonade.png
tst train station colonade.png, by simtang


Some additional pictures of the inside of terminus

tst old train station inside_Page1
tst old train station inside_Page1, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page2
tst old train station inside_Page2, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page3
tst old train station inside_Page3, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page4
tst old train station inside_Page4, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page5
tst old train station inside_Page5, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page6
tst old train station inside_Page6, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page7
tst old train station inside_Page7, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page8
tst old train station inside_Page8, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page9
tst old train station inside_Page9, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page10
tst old train station inside_Page10, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page12
tst old train station inside_Page12, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page13
tst old train station inside_Page13, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page14
tst old train station inside_Page14, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page15
tst old train station inside_Page15, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page16
tst old train station inside_Page16, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page17
tst old train station inside_Page17, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page18
tst old train station inside_Page18, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page19
tst old train station inside_Page19, by simtang
tst old train station inside_Page20
tst old train station inside_Page20, by simtang


tst old train station inside_Page21
tst old train station inside_Page21, by simtang