BEIJING: The first high-speed train linking Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with the Chinese mainland left Hong Kong West Kowloon Station at 7 am on Sunday heading for Shenzhen North Railway Station in South China’s Guangdong Province, marking the official opening of the whole Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway.
On the mainland side, two trains also left from Shenzhen and Guangzhou to Hong Kong at 6:44 am and 6:48 am on Sunday. On the inaugural day, a total of 95 bullet trains will be operating on the line, including 13 pairs of long-distance trains, said the China Railway Corp (CRC). During the initial operation period, CRC will arrange the number of trains based on traffic demand, with up to 127 pairs of trains in daily service on peak days.
The 141-kilometer Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed Railway, which includes a 26-kilometer Hong Kong line and a 115-kilometer line in the mainland, is also an important part of Hong Kong’s connection to China’s 25,000-kilometer high-speed railway network.
The opening of the railway section will enable trains departing from Hong Kong to directly travel to 44 stations in the mainland, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, capital of North China’s Hebei Province, Zhengzhou, capital of Central China’s Henan Province, Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, Fuzhou and Xiamen in East China’s Fujian Province, according to the report.
It will only take about 14 minutes to depart from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to Shenzhen Futian Railway Station, and 47 minutes to Guangzhou South Railway Station. The travel time from Hong Kong to Beijing West Railway Station will be eight hours and 56 minutes.
Industry observers have expected the launch of the rail line will promote the cooperation between the special administrative region and the mainland in many areas and drive the region’s economic development.