CHINA: Revenue services on the 26 km Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong high speed line began on September 23, when MTR Corp’s first Vibrant Express departed at 07.00 carrying around 500 passengers to Shenzhen Bei.

Connecting Hong Kong to the extensive Chinese national high speed rail network which now totals more than 25 000 km, MTR’s Express Rail Link had been officially inaugurated on the previous day with a ceremony at Hong Kong West Kowloon station attended by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam and Governor of Guangdong Province Ma Xingrui.

Speaking at the ceremony, MTR Corp Chairman Frederick Ma said the line was one the most important infrastructure projects to be completed in Hong Kong since the end of British control in 1997. ‘We open up a new chapter for Hong Kong and generate immense opportunities for Hong Kong people. MTR is honoured to be able to participate in this great project and make history’, he added.

During the initial phase of operation, services will connect Hong Kong West Kowloon to 44 destinations including six ‘short-haul’ stations at Futian, Shenzhen Bei, Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng and Guangzhou Nan on the Guangzhou – Shenzhen - Hong Kong route. The 38 ‘mid- to long-haul’ destinations accessed over the wider Chinese high speed network include Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Guilin, Guiyang, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shantou.