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Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System 中環至半山自動扶梯系統, Hong Kong

By on September 5, 2015 in Hong Kong

When I am travelling I every so often you just come across something that makes me stop in your tracks. And the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System 中環至半山自動扶梯 was one such thing. I didn’t think I would come across an outdoor escalator running up a hillside in a city, but I forgot that this was Hong Kong.

The Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System 中環至半山自動扶梯 runs to some 800 m up the hill from Central Hong Kong to what is called the “mid-levels”. The escalator runs downhill in the morning until about nine or 10 AM and then reverses direction (I wonder what happens if you are on it and it reverses direction?). The reverse of direction makes sense as it means that workers get a little “lift” coming down the hill in the morning, and get a helping hand when going home at night.

The photograph below shows my first encounter with the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System 中環至半山自動扶梯. At first, I just thought it was an escalator up to some of the high-rise flats. It wasn’t until I came across the escalator again a few streets later and I realised it was a free public transport up the hill.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

The escalator is just an escalator. It has a covering to keep the rain off and is divided into short segments so you can easily get on and off.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

And when you’re on the escalator it seems to go on and on and on.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

The photograph below shows the various segments of the escalator running down the hill on the right-hand side of the lane.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

To me it just seemed wrong, weird almost, to be taking an escalator up a hill through the city.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

And as you can see the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator is very popular.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

Finally, you get to the top. And as I didn’t really want to go up the hill, and had just taken it to see where it goes and how it operated, I then had to turn around and walk all the way back down.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

The long walk back down.

Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

Now, I don’t know if the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System 中環至半山自動扶梯 is unique, but I certainly have not come across anything like it in any of the other cities are visited. It is an interesting way to solve a transport problem, that is, how to get everybody to and from work, but it does seem to be a rather odd idea. However, it certainly works.

FourSquare: Central-Mid-Levels Escalator

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.

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