TICKETS for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link go on sale at 8 a.m. today, two weeks ahead of the official operation of the HK section of the rail slated for Sept. 23, according to an announcement from China Railway Corp. on Friday.
Travelers can purchase tickets through www.12306.cn, the official ticket website of China Railway, and www.mtr.com.hk/highspeed, the official ticket website of the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corp., operator of the Hong Kong section of the high-speed rail.
The operation of the 26-kilometer Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link marks the connection of Hong Kong with the mainland high-speed rail network.
Upon operation Sept. 23, a total of 95 pairs of trains, including 82 short-haul pairs running between Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong and 13 pairs of long-distance trains, will be put into operation, linking Hong Kong with more than 40 mainland cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanchang, Xiamen, Guiyang and Guilin.
During peak periods, such as holidays and weekends, 127 pairs will be arranged.
The ticket plan shows that fares from Shenzhen North Railway Station and Futian Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus cost 75 yuan (US$11) and 68 yuan, respectively.
The trip between Futian and Hong Kong will be cut to 14 minutes. It will take 47 minutes, and 8 hours and 17 minutes, to get to Hong Kong from Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively. The travel time between Beijing and Hong Kong will be cut to nine hours.
Travelers can also purchase tickets at railway stations.
In the newly built West Kowloon Terminus, there are 23 counters where travelers can purchase tickets to mainland destinations using a variety of payment methods, including Octopus, Alipay and WeChat Pay. Passengers can print their tickets at machines with their travel permits for Hong Kong and Macao residents as well as second-generation mainland resident IDs. No more than 10 tickets can be bought at a time.
Under the co-location arrangement, which was adopted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee last December, the mainland port area of Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus was put into service last week.
The mainland port area will be managed according to the laws of the mainland. The co-location arrangements will save border-crossing time and improve efficiency.
The 114-km Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is an important part of the national high speed rail network. Work on the Hong Kong section started in 2010.