A "Vibrant Express" train is seen at Hong Kong's West Kowloon Station on the day of the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Sept 22, 2018. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will restart its high-speed rail link with the Chinese mainland on Sunday after obtaining approval from the central government, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Wednesday.
West Kowloon Station, the city’s only high-speed rail station, initially will bring trains to Shenzhen’s Futian, Shenzhen North and Guangzhou South Station and Guangzhou East Station.
According to a government statement issued on Wednesday, the trains will be calling at Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng, and the newly added Dongguannan and Dongguan stations
According to a government statement issued on Wednesday, the trains will be calling at Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng, and the newly added Dongguannan and Dongguan stations.
No prior bookings for checkpoint services are required for passengers boarding high-speed rail to depart from or enter the city. However, they are required in order to produce a negative result of a COVID-19 nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours.
Also, the checkpoint of West Kowloon Station will operate from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm every day, the same times as before the closure.
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MTR Corporation, the city’s sole railway operator, has been working with its mainland counterparts on a trial run since Jan 8 to allow its train captains and staff on both sides to familiarize themselves with track conditions after the three-year hiatus.
Worker inspect a high-speed train at the Guangzhounan station in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Jan 11, 2023, prior to the resumption of train services between the mainland cities and Hong Kong set for Jan 15. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
Disciplined Services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also conducted a drill at the West Kowloon Control Point Wednesday morning to ensure smooth operation at the initial stage of service resumption.
In a post on his social media page, Lee thanked the central government for its support for Hong Kong and the close coordination of the Guangdong Provincial government and the Shenzhen Municipal government, as well as the full cooperation from China State Railway Group, China Railway Guangzhou Group and MTR Corporation.
Lee said Hong Kong has gradually returned to normalcy with the resumption of cross-boundary travel progressing on schedule, a move that has given a boost to the city’s economy and brought a positive impact to various sectors.
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Lee said he and his team will continue to work closely with mainland authorities in a bid to fully resume cross-boundary travel as soon as possible and revive the city’s economy.
On Jan 8, Hong Kong reopened four checkpoints connecting with the mainland. In the initial stage, 60,000 people are allowed to travel each way between Hong Kong and the mainland through the seven checkpoints in operation every day. They will not be subject to quarantine. They will only need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours and make a prior booking through designated websites if they opt to pass through the three land ports.