Express rail expands trips and routes

More long-distance express trains will run between the mainland and Hong Kong from July 10.

Charlotte Luo

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

More long-distance express trains will run between the mainland and Hong Kong from July 10.

Trains servicing the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will increase from 13 to 17 a day. Additional long-haul trains will go to Chongqing, Nanning, Tianjin and Zhaoqing.

And the number of mainland destinations that can be reached from West Kowloon Station will increase from 44 to 58.

The 14 new destinations are Baiyangdian, Chongqing West, Foshan West, Guiyang East, Handan East, Hengshan West, Nanning East, Sanshui South, Shantou, Tianjin West, Wuzhou South, Yueyang East, Zhaoqing East and Zunyi.

One of the five existing train services that end journeys at Chaoshan will continue to Shantou Station.

Over 13 million passengers have used the express rail to and from West Kowloon Station since it started on September 23 last year.

Jacob Kam Chak-pui, the MTR Corp Ltd's chief executive, said the enhanced service will attract more passengers to take the express rail and explore mainland cities.

But the opening of the express rail has also seen a drop in people riding intercity through trains. So there will be changes to intercity schedules and stations being serviced.

There will be a reduction of three intercity through-train round trips running between Hung Hom and Guangzhoudong Station from July 10.

Currently, intercity through trains provide trips from Hung Hom Station to Foshan Station every day.

Given that the express rail service will connect to Foshanxi Station under the new arrangement, the terminus of this daily intercity through-train trip will be changed to Guangzhoudong.

As the East Rail Line and intercity through trains share a track, the adjustment should help enhance the line's services by providing more evenly distributed trips.

From July 10, there will be an additional south-bound East Rail trip from Lo Wu to Hung Hom between 8am and 9am on weekdays and two additional north-bound trips from Hung Hom to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau respectively.

And under the service enhancement program, average waiting times on the East Rail Line during weekday morning peak hours should be reduced.