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HK supertrain starts Sunday as ‘missing link’ to China

September 21, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Something big and fast is happening this Sunday: the launch of a new supertrain rail link that promises to revolutionise travel and touring by connecting Hong Kong with China’s biggest mainland cities at speeds up to 350 km/h – at prices just a fraction of the airfare.

An example: Guangzhou will be 50 minutes from Hong Kong by rail, at a fare of about AUD 40.

HKTB regional director Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark, describes the new High Speed Rail System as “the missing link to connect Hong Kong to the main cities of China and beyond”.

Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau has confirmed that this Sunday (23 September 2018) will be the official launch date of the new high-speed system connecting Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The rail system is expected to reduce travel time on the routes by about 60%.

Strengthening Hong Kong’s position as a gateway to Greater China, the 142km track will connect the city to 44 stations across mainland China, including six short-haul and 38 long-haul stations.

Tickets for the High Speed Rail System are comparatively cheap: HKD 78 (about AUD 12.50) from Hong Kong to Futian station; HKD 247 (about AUD 40) to Guangzhou South; and tickets to long-haul destinations, such as Beijing will start at HKD 1240 (about AUD 200).

Inside a High Speed Rail carriage. Photo Courtesy of MTR

Futian is the biggest underground railway station in the world, except for Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

The HKTB’s Andrew Clark says the new High Speed Rail System will reinforce Hong Kong’s position as the gateway to China.

“We have seen growing interest in China amongst the Australian and New Zealand markets, however accessibility has also been a main area of concern. We believe that this rail system will be the missing link to connect Hong Kong to the main cities of China and beyond,” Clark said.

The aerodynamic shape of new High Speed Rail supertrain. Photo Courtesy of MTR

“The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is currently working with industry partners to foster and leverage the abundance of tourism resources along the rail line to develop multi-destination itineraries.”

Wuhan, one of China’s popular cities, will be accessible from Hong Kong in five hours on the new super trains, while the journey time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong will be cut from 100 minutes to about 50 minutes.

The Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail is approximately 26km and runs along a dedicated underground rail corridor from a new terminus at West Kowloon to the boundary near Lok Ma Chau, where it connects with the Mainland section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail.

The new West Kowloon Station. Photo Courtesy of MTR

West Kowloon Station, designed by architect Andrew Bromberg of Aedas, will also debut on 23 September 2018, and will be the main Hong Kong hub for the new rail network. Once completed, the station will be one of the largest underground high speed rail stations in the world, and features a pedestrian skywalk with views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline; an urban green oasis and more than 4000 glass panels.

The 44 destinations that the direct High Speed Rail System trains will reach include:

Six short-haul destinations: Futian; Shenzhen North; Guangmingcheng; Humen; Qingsheng; and Guangzhou South of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Passenger Line.

38 long-haul destinations along the Beijing-Guangzhou Passenger Line: the Hangzhou-Fuzhou-Shenzhen Passenger Line; the Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Line; and the Guiyang-Guangzhou Passenger Line; including: Beijing; Shanghai; Kunming; Guilin; Guiyang; Shijiazhuang; Zhengzhou; Wuhan; Changsha; Hangzhou; Nanchang; Fuzhou; Xiamen; and Shantou.

Edited by Peter Needham

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