03 Sep 2018
Thousands of Hong Kong locals headed to the West Kowloon terminus of the HK$84.4 billion high-speed rail link on Saturday, for an open-day event which welcomed visitors ahead of an official launch this month – as reported on South China Morning Post.
The 26km Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzen-Hong Kong Express Rail is set to debut on the 23rd of September, linking the city to 44 destinations on mainland China. It is forecast to be used by 80,100 passengers daily.
Multiple visitors from the open-day event have been anticipating the rail’s opening, despite a 3 year delay. Matthew Lee Sung-hei, aged 10, said he had been a fan of the MTR Corporation, Hong Kong’s rail giant and operator of the link, for six years. He was especially impressed by the arched terminus ceilings that were made from some 4,000 glass panels – each shaped and sized uniquely.
Nancy Tang Oi-lan, another visitor, said the terminus was well-equipped with facilities and gave her a “warm feeling”. She went on to say that the final result was worth the public money spent, but that the construction took a long time to be finalised.
Game booths and guided tours around the terminus allowed visitors to learn more about the express link, with staff on hand to explain further.
On the first basement level, 23 counters will sell tickets to 44 mainland destinations, with various modes of payment accepted – whereas 5 counters will sell tickets to those beyond the 44 stops.
There are also 39 machines that can be bought from, but the automated systems will only accept home-return permits for Hong Kong and Macau residents as well as second-generation mainland resident IDs. Those holding other travel documents are required to buy tickets from the counters.
On-site, one will find around 40 shops and a large food court. However, the nine Hong Kong-owned trains at the terminus do not offer food services in their carriages.