China - Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Opens.
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4 October, 2018
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) has begun operating.
Up to 95 pairs of high-speed trains were scheduled on XRL on 23 September, its first day of operation. This includes 13 pairs of long distance trains, according to the China Railway Corporation. This 141km XRL includes 115km in China mainland and 26km in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).
It will take a minimum 14 minutes from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to Futian Railway Station in Shenzhen, at least 47 minutes to Guangzhou South Railway Station, and eight hours and 56 minutes to Beijing West Railway Station.
The XRL is part of China's high-speed rail network and will connect Hong Kong and 44 destinations in the mainland, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Shantou, Guiyang, Guilin and Kunming.
In the initial operation period trains numbers will vary with demand. Up to 127 pairs of trains will be in service on a single day on peak demand.
China Railway Guangzhou Group Co. Ltd. spokesperson Chen Xiaomei said that the mainland and Hong Kong have built coordination mechanisms covering various aspects such as dispatching and commanding trains, passenger transportation and power supply.
"The rail link is expected to facilitate exchanges between the mainland and the Hong Kong SAR and boost economic development along the line," he said.
Infrastructure expert Mark Hu of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Outlaw.com, said, "This Express Rail Link, together with the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge, will further integrate the resources of the Great Bay Area."
"The Great Bay Area is now well equipped to play a more important role in the 'belt and road' initiative, especially in providing financial supports, advance technology and professional services. All these services will benefit from a much more efficient transport system.," Hu said.
Last month the Transport and Housing Bureau announced the operating arrangements for the Hong Kong Section of the XRL. The service concession of the XRL has been formally granted to the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL).
This article was published in Out-law here.
For further information, please contact:
Mark Hu, Partner, Pinsent Masons