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Transcript of remarks by STH
     Following is the transcript of remarks at a media session by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Arrangements for Preparation of Key Operational Issues for the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and China Railway Corporation today (January 29):

Reporter: For the 13 long-distance trains, are they going to be direct trains to the 14 ... stations? And secondly, how is the Government going to split the revenue? What is the current arrangement for splitting revenue between the Hong Kong Government and China Railway?

Secretary for Transport and Housing: When we are talking about the long-distance destinations, we are referring to those stations where the passengers do not need to change train during the course of travel, and therefore the 14 long-distance destinations are only those that you don't have to change. But in the process of the travel, they might stop at various stations and these are also approachable and accessible by Hong Kong people and tourists. As regards the splitting of the fare that you mentioned, we are talking about a host of different factors that we need to work in detail with the counterparts in the Mainland. As at today, we are not coming to a final decision yet. As far as we understand, no matter how and what we are going to do in terms of fare split, we are confident that the financial situation of the Hong Kong Section of the Express Rail Link (the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link) would be able to come up with a very favourable and healthy financial outcome.

Reporter: When do you expect the Rail Link will finally make ends meet?

Secretary for Transport and Housing: We don't have the crystal ball, (let me) put it this way, and we need to work on an assumption. If we are taking the assumption of 50 years being the life cycle of the Express Rail Link, it would be natural and reasonable for us to take the 50-year cycle as a time frame to analyse whether or not the Express Rail Link is running healthily financially. Under this assumption of a 50-year life cycle, we are of the opinion that the Express Rail Link would be having a very healthy financial outcome by the end of this cycle.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, January 29, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:20
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