Start of services, Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail (Hong Kong Section) © MTR Corporation
Passenger services have started on the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail line in China. The first MTR Vibrant Express train departed from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station for Shenzhenbei Station on mainland China at 7am, 23 September 2018. The line, which is operated by MTR Corporation, connects Hong Kong to more than 25,000 km of high-speed rail lines on the mainland.
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station was officially opened before the first service by Lincoln Leong, Chief Executive Officer of MTR. Frank Chan, Secretary for Transport and Housing, Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, joined Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of MTR, Mr Leong and other MTR managers for a celebration in the station before passengers boarded the train. Professor Ma, Mr Leong, Mr Chan and their colleagues also distributed souvenirs to passengers to mark the historic occasion and thank them for their support.
Professor Ma said:
“The brand new cross-boundary railway service offers fast, convenient and comfortable connections to the Mainland of China. Passengers can complete both Hong Kong and Mainland clearance procedures in one place at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and then board trains to 44 Mainland destinations directly without interchange, providing them with a good travel choice for leisure or business. With Hong Kong’s advantageous geographical location, I hope the High Speed Rail (Hong Kong Section) not only brings closer regional ties, but also fully unleashes its economic benefits. The preparation for the service commencement of the High Speed Rail (Hong Kong Section) has been more challenging than local metro services, and I would like to thank colleagues from different departments for their dedication and concerted efforts.”
The first train departed for Shenzhenbei with Adi Lau, Operations Director of MTR and Linda So, Corporate Affairs Director of MTR, on board. Mr Leong greeted the passengers on the train before it started the 19-minute journey.
MTR have reported smooth services on the first day of operations. On average, 82 short-haul train pairs, and 13 medium to long-haul train pairs are scheduled to run on the line. MTR has had close communication with China Railway Corporation (CRC) to arrange the schedule for the line to meet the needs of passengers in both Hong Kong and on the mainland. CRC will adjust the frequency of services to account for changes in conditions and the demands of passengers travelling in both directions. Information for passengers will be updated regularly on the online ticketing system or tele-ticketing hotline.
MTR was the project manager in the design and construction of the 26km section of the line between Futian (mainland) and Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and was announced as the operator for services on it in August 2018.
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