A SINGLE trip from Futian in Shenzhen to West Kowloon in Hong Kong on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) will cost HK$80 (US$10.23) and take only 14 minutes when the much-anticipated high-speed rail connecting the three cities opens this year.
The fare was announced by Chan Fan, secretary for Transport and Housing of Hong Kong, in Beijing on Monday, after he held a meeting with China Railway Corp. officials.
The fare for a trip from Shenzhen North Railway Station to West Kowloon Station, the terminus of the XRL, will stand at HK$90 while fares from Humen in Dongguan City and Guangzhou South Railway Station will be set at HK$210 and HK$260, respectively.
At present, a one-way trip from Guangzhou to Hong Kong by regular trains on the Guangjiu Railway (Guangzhou-Kowloon in Hong Kong) costs HK$210.
The Guangjiu Railway stretches from Guangzhou in the north to Hung Hom, Kowloon, in the south. There are 12 sets of trains running between Guangzhou and Hong Kong every day. The trip takes about two hours.
After the XRL rail is put into operation in the third quarter of the year, there will be 114 bullet trains running between Hong Kong and mainland cities during peak seasons, which accounts for around 130 days a year. The bullet trains will run between Guangzhou South Station and West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong, passing Guangzhou's Qingsheng, Humen, and Shenzhen's Guangmingcheng, Shenzhen North Railway Station and Futian Station. The line will reduce the travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to only 50 minutes.
A total of 84 trains will stop at Futian Station and Shenzhen North Railway Station, while 30 trains will stop at Humen and Guangzhou South Railway Station.
When the rail service opens, Hong Kong residents will be able to travel to 16 major cities on the mainland, including Changsha, Wuhan and Chengdu, via Shenzhen and Guangzhou, on the high-speed rail network. It will take approximately eight hours to go from Hong Kong to Shanghai and 10 hours to Beijing by bullet trains.
Each XRL train will have 579 seats, with the second and eighth carriages each providing 68 first-class seats. Each seat will be equipped with power plugs, and a Wi-Fi connection will always be available on board.
Work on the 142-km XRL started in April 2010 and is expected to be finished in the third quarter of the year.