Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) will open to traffic on September 23th, 2018, according to the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. The Hong Kong section is only 26 kilometers, however, upon its opening, Hong Kong can be linked to China’s mainland national high-speed railway network.
The travel time of direct train between Beijing and Hong Kong may be cut to nine hours by high-speed railway. The short-haul trains of the Hong Kong section will run back and forth among Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and the Futian, Shenzhen North, Humen and Guangzhou South stations at the early stage of operation. There will also be direct long-haul trains to cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Guilin, Guiyang, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shantou.
Once opening, the Hong Kong section plans to run daily at most 114 pairs of train departing from Hong Kong in peak time, and 84 pairs will stop at Futian Station and Shenzhen North Station, 30 pairs at Humen and Guangzhou South stations, introduced Chen Fan, head of a department of HKSAR.
It is learnt that passengers have to finish the ticket’s real-name authentication, luggage security check, departure procedure of Hong Kong and entry procedure of Mainland before getting on the high speed rail train. Passengers have five channels to buy tickets, including ticket office of West Kowloon Station, ticket machine, local travel agents, telephone line and online booking of tickets. Passengers can get access to various e-payments besides paying by cash, credit card and the octopus.