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Before I travelled to Hong Kong, I looked at the MTR Map, which described all the lines by colour and by name, but not by number. Generally, the signs up around the MTR did the same.

However, a few times, and especially when changing trains, I spotted signs with name + colour + number. This would've been easier for me, as in a jetlagged state remembering "I want the line that starts with a T" turned out to not be nearly so unique as planned...

Are there actually numbers for lines, or do the numbers mean something else? I didn't get a chance to take a photo, but below is a cc-by photo from Flickr which shows the kind of sign I spotted:

MTR sign from Nasa Dulo ng Dila from www.flickr.com/photos/24536908@N00/83264048

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

These are platform numbers. The colour indicates the line but the number is specific to the station. (Online confirmation)

You can note the platform numbers (I think trains of different lines always leave from different platforms in Hong Kong, ), but they vary from station to station.

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As a HongKonger, I believe the platform numbers are used for directing passengers to the suitable platform. E.g. East Rail Line train could stop at "Lok Ma Chau" or "Lo Wu" or even "Tai Po Market". A broadcasting message is issued and related information is displayed on the panel in the station. It is most commonly used in the Terminal station. –  Ivan Chau Dec 23 '13 at 6:59
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