Hong Kong enters high-speed rail era

 

Passengers in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Station takes a photo on Sunday before boarding the first high-speed train from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. [Photo by Roy Liu / China Daily]

The Vibrant Express carried its first passengers seamlessly cross-boundary from West Kowloon Station on Sunday

The long-awaited Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link got off to a smooth and vibrant start on Sunday, in what could be the key driver that essentially adds flesh to the bones of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area's development.

Top officials from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong threw their weight behind the impressive engineering feat that allows Asia's financial center direct access to the country's massive 25,000-kilometer high-speed rail network–the largest of its kind the world over.

"The XRL, as its name suggests, is part and parcel of a package of broader efforts to tie Hong Kong more closely than ever to the Bay Area and the rest of its mother country," Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at a summit in Hong Kong on Sunday.

"The distance between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, never far from the outset, is about to get even closer," said Lam, in the belief that the gigantic infrastructure project heralds the arrival of a brand-new lifestyle, featured by high-speed rail travel, for passengers to and from the city.

A living example comes from Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, who is scheduled to wrap up his business trip in Hong Kong on Sunday and cannot wait to take the high-speed rail train back to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, to get a taste of the highly anticipated rail travel.


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