Hong Kong Opens First High-Speed Train Linked to Mainland China

Hong Kong opened the first high-speed railway that connects it to mainland China on Sunday.

Covering a stretch of 26 kilometers  (16 miles), the new addition to Express Rail Link’s 25,000-kilometer (15,534-mile) network links passengers from West Kowloon to Shenzhen, China’s technology hub in Guangdong province.

 

On its maiden trip, the high-speed train G5736 departed from the West Kowloon station with some 500 passengers at 7 a.m. local time, Xinhua reported.

Train G5736 leaves Hong Kong West Kowloon Station for Shenzhen on Sunday.

On the other side, bullet train G5711 left the Shenzhen station with some 600 passengers at 6:44 a.m. local time, ECNS noted.

Train G5711 (left) leaves Shenzhen North Railway Station for Hong Kong on Sunday.

Traveling up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour, both trains arrived at their destinations in less than 20 minutes.

A total of 71,000 tickets were sold in both sites on the first day of operations, according to EJ Insight.

Passengers at the West Kowloon Station pose for a group photo.

The new railway — which reportedly cost HK$84.4 billion (more than $10.8 billion) to build — connects Hong Kong to 44 destinations in the mainland, including Shanghai and Beijing.

The project stirred controversy as it marks the first time mainland criminal law is enforced on the Chinese territory, according to BBC.

A passenger from Shenzhen to Hong Kong poses for photos prior to departure.

Politics aside, the new railway is expected to boost businesses in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the second-nearest link at 40 minutes.

Passengers take pictures at the West Kowloon Station.

Passengers are pleased with their transport.

“It’s so fast!”

“[It’s] very quiet, like I was on a plane.”

“Now we can take a direct express train to Hong Kong and go through checks of both sides at one place. These new changes make this a unique trip.”

Images via Xinhua

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