Fine time in West Kowloon

Local | Charlotte Luo 20 Aug 2018

The new West Kowloon rail terminus will become a tourism and cultural landmark, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung believes.

Cheung talks in his latest blog post about the environment-friendly design of the express rail station, which includes much glass.

There will be a walkway above the station that among other things will provide a good spot to watch fireworks over Victoria Harbour, he says.

Additionally, the station will interact with the next-door West Kowloon Cultural District in promoting Hong Kong as a city for mega events.

"The West Kowloon Cultural District development project is a major investment by the government to support the long-term development of Hong Kong's arts and culture," Cheung notes.

He sees synergy because of the cultural district's Theatre Centre, the M+ Museum, the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Heritage Museum having the station nearby.

"The area with West Kowloon Station as the core will become Hong Kong's new tourist and cultural landmark," he says.

"We expect more passengers to take the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail to Hong Kong to watch international cultural and artistic performances and exhibitions."

And with Hong Kong section of the express link opening next month, Cheung expects thousands of jobs to be created.

The railway operation and the integrated retail and catering sectors, he says, "will create a large number of employment opportunities. The industries that will be supported include tourism, hotels, conferences and exhibitions."

The terminus has a floor area of 400,000 square meters, making it the world's largest underground railway station. And the design frees up space for the development of public spaces and green pedestrian locations with an area of more than six hectares.

He goes on to enthuse: "Designed with a streamlined glass canopy, the West Kowloon Station is made up of more than 4,000 pieces of irregular glass and supported by a number of giant pillars, allowing visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour."

The design of the double glazing will also help with natural light, reduce heat transfer and thus improve energy efficiency, he adds.

In fact, Cheung writes, "the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is an environmentally-friendly transportation mode in which the carbon emissions will only be about 15 percent against 25 percent for aircraft and buses."

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