Express train tops 200km/h in trial run

Top News | Phoenix Un and Amy Nip 17 Aug 2018

The train servicing the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link was clocked at 201 kilometers an hour in yesterday's trial for the media, but it took 20 minutes - instead of a few minutes - to travel to and from Shek Kong Stabling Sidings to the West Kowloon Terminus.

The top speed was much faster than MTR trains, which operate at 80 km/h, and the Airport Express at 135 km/h.

MTR Corp Ltd organized a tour and allowed reporters to take a round trip between the Shek Kong Stabling Sidings and the West Kowloon Terminus for the first time.

The eight-carriage train departed Shek Kong at 4.32pm. Reporters, MTR chief of operations Francis Li Shing-kee and the rail operator's general manager, Simon Tang Wai-yung, were on board.

The train was traveling at eight km/h when leaving the sidings. After nine minutes, it started to accelerate before reaching its top speed of 201km/h.

The train was outdoors for a brief period, when passing through Pat Heung, before it entered a tunnel near the West Kowloon Terminus. The train ran steadily and shook slightly, but it was no different from an MTR train.

The first-class seats were in the first and eighth carriages, while ordinary seating was in the remaining carriages.

Each carriage had drinking water and toilets.

During the journey, passengers could see several water stains on the walls of tunnels. There was even a trickle of water flowing down a wall.

Those on board were unable to access Facebook and WhatsApp since those platforms are banned in China. The mobile signal was less than impressive throughout the trip, and there was no service for about two minutes in the middle of the journey.

The train arrived at the West Kowloon Terminus at 4.51pm, taking 19 minutes. Li said extra time was needed since the train had to depart the sidings at a slow pace.

The train with the media aboard returned from the West Kowloon Terminus at 5.14pm, and this time it took 22 minutes to arrive at Shek Kong.

Li also advised passengers to arrive at the West Kowloon Terminus 45 minutes before their train departs to clear customs.

The MTRCL will hold an express rail open day on September 1 and 2, and tickets will be distributed from next Saturday.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has confirmed that the Hong Kong section of the express rail is safe and ready for the launch next month.

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