AN eight-carriage train will begin a range of on-site tests and system integration tests on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) in June.
Hong Kong MTR Corp. (HKMTR) has landed an order of nine XRL trains from CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co. Ltd. (Qingdao Sifang) for the high-speed railway, which is scheduled to start service in 2018.
The first train has completed multiple static tests, low-speed dynamic tests and dynamic testing on the 16-km pilot test section between Shek Kong Emergency Rescue Siding and Mongkok West Ventilation Building. The second train arrived in Hong Kong in January.
According to a Xinhua report Tuesday, quoting Philco Wong, project director of HKMTR, the first train will be tested on the 26-km section between West Kowloon in Hong Kong and Futian Station in Shenzhen.
West Kowloon Station, with a floor space of 380,000 square meters, is one of the largest underground stations for high-speed trains in the world.
HKMTR's annual report showed that the XRL project is progressing as planned with around 87.4 percent completed. Eighty-three percent of the station project and 95.7 percent of the rail project had been completed by the end of 2016.
It will take about 48 minutes to travel from Guangzhou to Hong Kong and 15 minutes from Shenzhen to Hong Kong when the Shenzhen-Hong Kong section is put into operation next year.
The trains are designed to run at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour with the speed dropping to 250 kilometers per hour in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong section. The total length of the railway is 145 kilometers, and trains will stop at seven stations on the way from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, namely Guangzhou South Station, Qingsheng Station, Humen Station, Guangmingcheng Station, Shenzhen North Station, Futian Station and West Kowloon Station.
Thanks to the new high-speed railway, it will take only nine hours to go from Hong Kong to Beijing.
In another development, the intercity rail linking Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen is expected to be put into operation this year, according to a meeting of Dongguan government Tuesday.
The 86-kilometer rail starts from Guangzhou North Station and ends at Shenzhen International Airport with interchanges for Shenzhen Metro Line 11 and Line 20. The rail will be extended to Futian CBD in the future. It will operate at a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour.
Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Big Bay Area has been put on the agenda as Premier Li Keqiang first mentioned the plan in the government work report at the opening meeting of the annual session of China's lawmaking body Sunday.
The latest research by Tan Gang, vice president of Shenzhen Institute of Socialism, showed that the combined economic scale of Shenzhen and Hong Kong in 2016 was equivalent to that of the San Francisco Bay Area two years ago.