LCQ16: Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link forecast data
The Government will start the "Three-step Process" shortly to implement the arrangement of Hong Kong and Mainland customs, immigration and quarantine procedures being carried out at the West Kowloon Station (WKS) of the Hong Kong Section (HKS) of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) (the co-location arrangement). However, the Government has not yet given this Council an account of the operating arrangements for XRL such as train schedules, as well as the details of the Mainland Port Area in WKS. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of a projection of the (i) number of trains with intermediate stops or terminal stops at the stations listed in Table 1, (ii) number of trains terminating at such stations, and (iii) number of direct trains running to and from such stations with no immediate stops (set out in Table 1 by name of station), among the daily number of XRL trains running to and from WKS during the initial operation of HKS of XRL;
Table 1: Number of XRL trains
|Beijing (all stations)|
|Shanghai (all stations)|
|Nanning East/ Nanning|
(2) given that the Government is discussing the service concession agreement for HKS of XRL with the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), whether the agreement will include clauses vesting in MTRCL the revenues to be brought by the business facilities in WKS and the property development rights on top of the station;
(3) given that the Government has decided to vest the land or interests or other rights in respect of the land of HKS of XRL in its wholly owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), which will in turn grant the service concession for the operation of HKS of XRL to MTRCL, of the Government's justifications for making such an arrangement; whether the revenues from XRL in future will be vested in KCRC and how the Government will make use of such revenues;
(4) whether the Government will immediately publish the (i) detailed plans (including the locations and floor areas of various facilities on each floor, annotated with the specific area in which mainland laws will be enforced) and (ii) Master Layout Plan (including the comprehensive development plan for the properties on top of the station and the open space plan) of WKS;
(5) whether the Government, when it estimated in 2015 the revenues from XRL, took into account the impacts of the other soon-to-be-completed cross-boundary infrastructure (e.g. the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point) on XRL's patronage; if so, of the details;
(6) of the progress to date of the discussion between the Government and the China Railway on the operational details (including fare revenue sharing and fare level) of HKS of XRL; apart from mileage, whether the future fare revenues will be shared according to the contribution ratios of both parties in the construction of the XRL network;
(7) of the latest estimated floor areas of (i) the comprehensive property developments on top of WKS and (ii) the commercial facilities in WKS; whether the Government has taken into account the revenues to be brought by such property developments and commercial facilities when it estimated the financial viability of XRL;
(8) whether the Government has discussed with MTRCL how the operating losses of HKS of XRL will be shared by the two parties in the event that the operating revenues from XRL fall far below expectation; if it has and the Government needs to bear part of the losses, of the Government's plans for raising the funding required, including whether it will seek funding approval from this Council, and whether it will tap the revenues from the property developments on top of WKS to make the payment; and
(9) given that the Government submitted in December 2015 a patronage forecast for XRL to a committee under this Council, whether the Government will set out the relevant data in Tables 2 to 9?
Table 2: Daily patronage of the trains of HKS of XRL running to and from the following stations in 2018
|Forecast in 2015||Latest forecast
(specify the year)
|Total short-haul services|
|Within Guangdong Province (excluding short-haul services)|
|Total long-haul services|
Table 3: Daily patronage of various modes of cross-boundary transport
|Actual figure in 2015||Forecast in 2015
|Latest actual figure|
Table 4: Percentages of various types of passengers with various trip purposes in the (i) overall cross-boundary passengers and (ii) HKS of XRL passengers, in 2018 as forecasted in 2015
|Passenger Type||Trip Purpose||(i)||(ii)|
|Hong Kong residents||Business|
|Non-Hong Kong residents||Business|
Table 5: Single trip fares for the following destinations in 2015
|Destination||XRL assumed fares||Actual fares of existing
|Actual coach fares|
Table 6: Forecasted fare revenue receivable by HKS of XRL for each trip (specify the year)
|Destination||Fare revenue receivable by HKS of XRL for each trip|
Table 7: Estimates of revenue and expenditure of HKS of XRL during its initial operation as forecasted in 2015 and the latest forecast
|Estimates||Forecast in 2015||Latest forecast
(specify the year)
|Repair and maintenance|
Table 8: Population (in million) of the following places in 2018, 2021 and 2031 as forecasted in 2015
Table 9: Annual rates of growth in gross domestic product of the following places during the two periods from 2015 to 2020 and from 2020 to 2031 as forecasted in 2015
|Place||2015 to 2020||2020 to 2031|
My consolidated reply to the Hon Tanya Chan's questions is as follows:
(1) According to the current planning, apart from the four short-haul destinations (i.e. Futian, Shenzhen North, Humen, and Guangzhou South) that direct trains will be available upon commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), there will also be direct trains to ten long-haul destinations (i.e. Shantou, Changsha, Xiamen, Wuhan, Nanchang, Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing). After commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, we will continue to explore with the Mainland authorities additional direct train services to more Mainland cities. Regarding the actual operational arrangements of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, including the train schedule arrangements, the Government is discussing with the Mainland authorities and will announce the arrangements at appropriate time.
(2), (3), (4) and (7) Since the Chief Executive in Council endorsed the Dedicated Corridor Option for constructing the Hong Kong Section of the XRL in April 2008, the Government has been taking forward the project on the basis that the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) will be invited to operate the Hong Kong Section of the XRL under a service concession approach in future. Such position was reiterated by the Government in October 2009 in the Legislative Council (LegCo) Brief on "Hong Kong Section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Funding Arrangement and Special Rehousing Package". Under a service concession approach, the Government provides the funding under the Public Works Programme for constructing the Hong Kong Section of the XRL and ultimately owns the railway. Upon the completion of the project, the Government may vest or lease the Hong Kong Section of the XRL to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), and the KCRC would in turn incorporate the XRL into its Service Concession Agreement with the MTRCL. The Government as the sole shareholder of the KCRC would benefit indirectly from service concession payments received from the MTRCL through future dividends.
At the meeting of the Executive Council on September 12, 2017, the Council advised and the Chief Executive ordered that the land or interests or other rights in respect of land for the operation of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL should be vested in and the movable assets of the XRL be assigned to the KCRC at nominal value. The KCRC shall then grant a service concession to operate the XRL to the MTRCL according to the Supplemental Service Concession Agreement (SSCA).
The arrangements of the SSCA will cover, among others, the period and payment of service concession, as well as the requirements for the MTRCL to provide services according to prescribed standards and surrender the assets upon the end of the service concession. Apart from the operational arrangement of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, the SSCA will also include the commercial business in the West Kowloon Station (including rental of station retail space, advertising in trains and stations and telecommunications).
The Town Planning Board approved with conditions the proposed comprehensive office/commercial/retail development above the West Kowloon Station on May 7, 2010 (planning application no. A/K20/113). The proposed comprehensive development comprises three office towers (total floor area of about 264 600 square metres) with the lower storeys intended for commercial and retail uses (total floor areas of about 29 400 square metres) as well as a public open space of not less than 8 900 square metres for public use. The relevant master layout plan has been made available for public inspection at the planning enquiry counter of the Planning Department. The Chief Executive in Council decided in April 2008 that as the Hong Kong Section of the XRL would be operated under a service concession approach, the site atop the West Kowloon Station would not be granted to the MTRCL. The site would be disposed of by the Government in accordance with the prevailing land policy with due attention paid to ensuring proper integration with the West Kowloon Station.
The floor plan of the West Kowloon Station of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL and the boundary of the "Mainland Port Area" are shown at Graphic 3 of the LegCo paper CB(2) 1966/16-17(01) entitled "Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Arrangements of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link" (pages 36 to 38).
(5) When seeking funding approval from the LegCo for the Hong Kong Section of the XRL project in 2009 and 2015, the Government had conducted the patronage forecast of the XRL and had taken account of the soon-to-be-completed cross-boundary infrastructure including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point. The impact of these cross-boundary infrastructure projects had also been reflected in the patronage forecast of the XRL.
(6) and (8) The financial position of the XRL is determined by various factors, including the fare levels, the arrangements for XRL trains to use rail tracks of the Mainland section of XRL, train schedule, the estimated operating costs of the railway service of both places, as well as the revenue and cost sharing arrangements between Hong Kong and the Mainland. The Government is proactively discussing these financially related matters with the China Railway Corporation (CR). The discussion is in good progress. The CR has undertaken to render the maximum support to the Special Administrative Region Government to ensure the long-term financial health of the Hong Kong section of XRL.
We must stress that financial return is not the sole consideration of the Government in the construction of infrastructure projects. The overall social benefits brought by these projects will also be taken into account. As for transport infrastructure, the benefits include the saving of travelling time for the general public, and the easing of traffic congestion on nearby roads. The implications of the efficient XRL services, a brand new mode of cross-boundary transportation to Hong Kong, for the travel pattern of the public and the new development opportunities it will present to the city may not be readily and immediately quantified.
(9) In 2015, the Government had updated the patronage forecast when seeking additional funding from the LegCo for the Hong Kong Section of the XRL. Regarding the daily patronage forecasts in respect of short-haul and long-haul services, as well as the estimated operating profit and operating margins upon commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL (during its first year of service (i.e. the third quarter of 2018)), please refer to the LegCo Paper No. FC139/15-16(01) entitled "Follow-up action arising from the discussion of application for additional funding for the construction of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link at the Meeting on 20 February 2016" and the reply provided by the Transport and Housing Bureau to questions raised by the Finance Committee in examining the estimates of expenditure of 2017-18 (Reply Serial No. THB(T)302).
The average daily cross-boundary passenger patronage in 2015, as well as the average daily cross-boundary patronage, distribution of types and trip purposes for the XRL passengers, projected population figures and gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate forecast in the updated patronage forecast by the Government in 2015, are tabulated below. It should be stressed that the ultimate financial position of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL will largely be determined by the revenue and cost sharing arrangements with the Mainland. Other factors such as fare levels, arrangements for XRL trains to use the rail tracks of the Mainland section of the XRL, train scheduling, and estimated operating costs of the railway services of both places will also be relevant. Currently, the details of the overall arrangements are yet to be finalised. The Government is discussing with the CR with regard to the financially related matters above, and will update the figures based on the outcome of the discussion.
Average Daily Cross-boundary Passenger Patronage
|Average Daily Passenger Trips between Hong Kong and the Mainland and Macau by Transport Mode (2015)|
|Boundary train||316 000|
|Private Car||25 200|
|Shuttle bus||17 300|
|Through train||10 400|
(Extracted from the Cross-boundary Travel Survey 2015 published by the Planning Department in 2016. As all figures are rounded to the nearest hundred, there may be a slight discrepancy between the sum of individual items and the total as shown in the table.)
|Forecast of 2018 conducted in 2015|
|Through train||7 300|
|Boundary train||315 800|
|Cross-boundary coach||275 100|
|Cross-boundary ferry||31 200|
Distribution of Types and Trip Purposes for the XRL Passengers
|Passenger Type||Trip Purpose||Forecast of 2018 conducted in 2015 of distribution of overall cross-boundary passengers||Forecast of 2018 conducted in 2015 of distribution of XRL cross-boundary passengers|
|Hong Kong residents||Business||18.3%||18%|
|Non-Hong Kong residents||Business||4.2%||18%|
Data Input Assumptions of Transport Model for Updating Patronage Forecast in 2015 – Population (million)
Data Input Assumptions of Transport Model for Updating Patronage Forecast in 2015 – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate Forecast
|Region||GDP Growth Rate Forecast
for Hong Kong and Guangdong Province
(Annual Growth Rate)
Regarding the XRL assumed fares and assumed fare revenue receivable by the Hong Kong section of the XRL, as mentioned above, the Government is discussing with the CR and the figures will be updated based on the outcome of the discussion.
Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:31
Issued at HKT 16:31