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THB clarifies news report on XRL short-haul stations

     In response to a news report today (December 29) on the number of short-haul stations of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), the Transport and Housing Bureau clarifies as follows:

     The Hong Kong Section of the XRL will form part of the national high-speed rail network. The XRL, a project jointly built and operated by the Mainland and Hong Kong, will provide high-speed rail service between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The Mainland is responsible for the construction of 116 kilometres of railway and relevant stations. Works of the Hong Kong Section, including 26km of railway and the West Kowloon Terminus, have been entrusted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to the MTR Corporation Limited. Both the Mainland and Hong Kong have all along been planning the services of the XRL with a total of four short-haul stations on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Section i.e. Futian, Lunghua (now Shenzhen North), Humen in Dongguan and Shibi in Guangzhou (now Guangzhou South).

     The Government stated the above planning scheme in a brief submitted to the Legislative Council (LegCo) in October 2009 when the Chief Executive in Council endorsed the construction of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL. The bureau also stated explicitly in the paper submitted to the LegCo Subcommittee on Matters Relating to Railways earlier this month that "the four short-haul stations within Guangdong Province ... will have direct connection under planning".

     The Hong Kong side has been designing the project based on this scheme and discussing the operation details with the Mainland authorities and operators without making any changes. The travelling time from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and the other three short-haul stations is also estimated according to this scheme. At present, we have no plan to revise this planning scheme and we have never discussed with the Mainland side the addition of short-haul stations on top of the above-named four stations.

     As to the Guangmingcheng and Qingshen Stations on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Section mentioned in the news report today, they are built and operated by the Mainland authorities. We are aware that there are from time to time news reports by Mainland and local media on the construction and operation of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Section and these two stations. Therefore, information on these two stations is in the public domain. Their existence on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Section does not mean that XRL trains to and from Hong Kong in the future have to stop at these two stations. In fact a rail line can have many train stations and trains need not stop at each and every station.

Ends/Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:56


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