Guangzhou metro link to bridge gap between borders

Local | Mandy Zheng 10 Dec 2020

Guangzhou authorities plan to build a metro extension linking to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge border point on the mainland side, which will allow travelers to get to Guangzhou city center within an hour, state media has reported.

The Guangzhou Metro announced an open call on Tuesday for tenders for the study of new subway lines, including Line 18 and its southern extension.

When the southern extension is completed, travelers from Hong Kong can cross the border via the mega bridge and head directly to Guangzhou city center by subway in Zhuhai, all within an hour.

The extension will start from Wanqingsha station in suburban Guangzhou. After leaving the city, it will separate into two branches heading south toward Zhongshan and Zhuhai.

The Zhuhai branch will end at the city's port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Zhuhai authorities will study its layout plan on the 96.7-square-meter land reserved for construction near the port.

But the project is still at its early stages, as mainland authorities need to consider the feasibility of expanding Line 18 to the Zhuhai port.

If it materializes, it will take only an hour for subway passengers to travel from Guangzhou East Railway station to the bridge.

Driving a car and taking a train usually amount to over two hours of travel between Guangzhou East and the bridge.

For those opting to cross the border at Shenzhen's Lo Wu port and then take the high-speed railway, it takes roughly one to 1.5 hours to arrive at Guangzhou East.

Line 18 is one of Guangzhou's major new metro lines under construction, covering 61.3 km from Guangzhou East to Wanqingsha. Train speeds are expected to reach 160 km per hour.

Officials have said that the construction of Line 18 was 83 percent finished as of the end of October and that it will start operation in stages, with the first segment from Wanqingsha to Xiancun launching services next June.

Line 18 will have two extensions, with the northern one reaching Guangzhou North, covering 38.5 km.

The southern extension is expected to be 89.6 km long and only one stop - Shiliu Chong - will be located in Guangzhou's urban area. Its construction is scheduled to begin in 2022.

The Guangzhou municipal government said in its 2019 report that the Line 18 southern extension project has been approved by the National Development and Reform Commission as part of its Greater Bay Area railway development scheme.

But in the 2020 report released last month, the Guangzhou government said part of the work on Line 18 has been delayed.

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