High-speed rail lines have been some of China’s most eye-catching projects to date. But some of them have been marred by major budget blowouts. Such is the case with the Hong Kong – Guangzhou line, which may end up costing 30 percent more than was initially estimated, up to a possible HKD85 billion.
HK Legislator Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of Legco’s transport panel, said that the information he has been receiving through several channels, including the contractors, has led him to conclude that the project will cost much more than anticipated.
In April 2014 it was announced that the line, initially planned to open this year, has been delayed until 2017. But even that time frame is uncertain, the deputy chairman of the New People’s Party says: “MRT will invest in order to overcome the delay and open in 2017. But additional money is needed to open before 2018.”
The world’s longest high-speed railway, which reduces travel time between Beijing and Guangzhou to eight hours, started operation in December 2012.
In addition, transport between Guangzhou and the neighboring city of Zhuhai has notably improved since the opening of the intercity Light Rapid Transit, which boasts a travel time of one hour from Zhuhai’s Gongbei district to the Guangdong province metropolis.