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THB responds to media enquiries on train schedule of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link

     In response to a newspaper article today (May 3) quoting an internal document of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) that there would be 190 trains departing from the West Kowloon Terminus (WKT), among which 96 per cent would be trains with intermediate stops, and that there would only be eight direct trains to Shenzhen or Guangzhou, a spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) clarified that the China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co Ltd (China Railway Siyuan) mentioned in the article was engaged by the MTRCL in 2008 to study the operation and maintenance of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). The details of operation mentioned in China Railway Siyuan's report are only for reference in planning the train schedule and are not the final operation plan for the XRL. Till now, the actual train schedule of the XRL has not yet been finalised.

     The spokesman said that according to China Railway Siyuan's final report in 2009, in the initial years of the commissioning of the XRL there would be 90 and 24 daily train pairs for short-haul shuttle services between Hong Kong and the Shenzhen and Guangzhou areas respectively. In these 114 daily train pairs of short-haul service, 61 of them (about 54 per cent) would be direct trains, i.e. 11 pairs of direct trains running between the WKT and Guangzhou South Station, five pairs of direct trains running between the WKT and Humen Station, and 45 pairs of direct trains running between the WKT and Futian Station.

     During the planning of the XRL in 2009, the Government considered various options for the timetable of trains, and the destinations and arrangements of intermediate stops for each train would be different. For example, according to the planning, for trains departing from West Kowloon, some trains would terminate at Futian or Humen. For train services between Hong Kong and Guangzhou South, there would be different trains with intermediate stops and direct trains. The travelling time between Hong Kong and Guangzhou by train will be reduced significantly from about 100 minutes to 48 minutes. This is formulated based on direct trains from the WKT in Hong Kong to Guangzhou South Station with no intermediate stops.

     The Hong Kong side has been designing the project based on the planning in 2009 and discussing the operation details of the XRL, such as train schedules, the number of intermediate stops and the relevant travelling time, with the Mainland authorities and operators. The THB must reiterate that there are various considerations, such as patronage demand, train operation and resources allocation of Hong Kong and the Mainland, in formulating the train services schedule of the XRL. Till now, the THB has still not yet finalised the future train schedule of the XRL.

Ends/Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:51


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