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Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Metroisation of the high-speed rail link in the works

Metroisation of the high-speed rail link in the works

The MTR Corporation and mainland railway authorities have been studying and discussing the feasibility of "metroisation" of short-haul services of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Express Rail Link, enhancing the flexibility of passengers' travel arrangements, the city's transport chief said on Wednesday.
His comments came after lawmakers inquired authorities whether they will discuss with the National Railway Administration the arrangements for the "metroisation" of the rail link, adopting the practice of selling "standee" tickets for short-haul XRL trips like in Shanghai and Suzhou.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung, in a written response to lawmakers, said the MTRC and relevant mainland railway authorities have already set up a task force to follow up on the matter.

“We will liaise closely with the MTRCL, and study and discuss with the relevant Mainland authorities to take forward the proposal, with a view to further enhancing the flexibility of XRL services and facilitating the efficient movement of people between Hong Kong and the Mainland,” said Lam.

Meanwhile, he said authorities will explore the feasibility of introducing different ticket types such as monthly passes with a view to providing convenience to frequent passengers.

Commenting on the "standee" tickets, Lam said under the current rules, passengers taking cross-boundary trains must board the train according to the car and seat number. In other words, all passengers are required to travel on the cross-boundary XRL trains with a valid ticket and in accordance with the specified seat number.

He said regarding the provision of "standee" tickets, the relevant factors to be considered include relevant regulations on railway operation and safety, train type and design.

He added that authorities will continue to explore with the relevant parties on the matter on the prerequisite that operation and passenger safety is ensured.
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