The Hong Kong Section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will open on September 23.
The Transport & Housing Bureau briefed the media on its operating arrangements today and said the service concession of the XRL has been formally granted to the Mass Transit Railway Corporation.
Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan said the XRL will provide a faster and more convenient mode of cross-boundary transportation.
He added it strengthens links between Hong Kong and the Mainland by connecting the city to the 25,000km national high-speed rail network.
“It will foster commercial and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Mainland cities and enhance Hong Kong’s status as a transport hub.
“It will also enable Hong Kong to tap into the synergy and opportunities brought about by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.”
Connecting the national high-speed rail network, XRL trains will reach 44 destinations.
Mr Chan said the number is far more than the four short-haul and 14 long-haul destinations announced earlier.
The 44 destinations reached by XRL trains include six short-haul locations, namely Futian, Shenzhen North, Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng and Guangzhou South of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Passenger Line.
There will be 38 long-haul destinations along the Beijing-Guangzhou Passenger Line, Hangzhou-Fuzhou-Shenzhen Passenger Line, Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Line and Guiyang-Guangzhou Passenger Line, including cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin and Hangzhou.
Upon commissioning, there will be 114 pairs of short-haul trains daily during peak periods, which cover public holidays in Hong Kong and the Mainland, summer holidays during July and August, and the Spring Festival travel seasons in the Mainland.
For weekdays from Monday to Thursday, 70 train pairs will run daily, while for weekends from Fridays to Sundays, there will be 82 train pairs every day.
Subject to market demand, the train schedule will be adjusted according to passenger flow.
There will also be 13 pairs of direct long-haul trains daily.
Second Class fares from West Kowloon Station to short-haul destinations range from RMB68 for Futian to RMB215 for Guangzhou South.
For Second Class fares for long-haul destinations along the Beijing-Guangzhou Passenger Line, Hangzhou-Fuzhou-Shenzhen Passenger Line, Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Line and Guiyang-Guangzhou High Speed Railway, the cost for a Fuzhou trip will be RMB349 while that for Beijing will be RMB1,077.
There may be various promotional and concession fares during non-peak periods or low seasons for tourists to enable more passenger groups to experience the high-speed rail services.