What is the difference between the Express Rail Link and the existing railways in Hong Kong? Will the Express Rail Link connect with the existing railway systems?

The Express Rail Link will operate at up to 200km/h within Hong Kong, which is much faster than Hong Kong's existing railway systems. MTR's Tseung Kwan O Line operates at a top speed of 80 km/h, while the maximum speed of the Airport Express Line is 135km/h.

The West Kowloon Station in West Kowloon, with convenient linkage to Kowloon Station and Austin Station, will be well connected to the Tung Chung Line, the Airport Express Line and the West Rail Line. The West Kowloon Station Bus Terminus, located at the north of the Station will be only a short walk away.

When will the construction of the Express Rail Link complete? How is the construction progress?

The construction of the Hong Kong Section of the Express Rail Link was started in January 2010 and the overall project completion had reached 99.4% as of end-March 2018. Trial operations for the High Speed Rail are underway and the Corporation will continue to make every endeavour to achieve the targeted commissioning in September 2018.

The flight services between Hong Kong and Mainland cities are well established. Are there any advantages of the high speed rail over aircraft?

Most airports located outside the urban area, while the termini of high speed railways are usually located at the city centres. As a result, the passengers of high speed rail can save much travelling time at each end of their journey. The procedures of check-in, security check and boarding are also simpler for rail travel. In addition, compared with aircraft, high speed rail is less influenced by inclement weather conditions. The frequency of high speed rail is much higher and more flexible.

Journeys of up to 1,000 km are generally faster by high speed rail than by air.

Is the high speed rail an environmentally friendly mode of transportation?

High speed rail provides environmentally friendly train services compared with other transport modes. In the United Kingdom, the carbon emission per passenger per kilometre on a Eurostar journey is only about 15% and 25% of that by plane and bus/coach respectively. It also consumes less energy and emits fewer pollutants by a similar order of magnitude.

Can passengers access to internet and mobile phone networks when travelling on the high speed trains?

Compared with aircraft and buses, the compartments of high speed trains are more spacious and the ride is smooth. Passengers may access to the internet and mobile phone networks when travelling on high speed trains. Thus, passengers may make better use of their travelling time to handle business and personal affairs.

Can landscape be viewed clearly when travelling on the high speed trains?

Unlike in an aircraft cabin, high-speed train passengers can view the landscape clearly even though the trains are travelling at high speed.

Why are there no intermediate stations within the Hong Kong territory?

High speed railways are intended to link major population centres, with infrequent stops, allowing trains to travel at high speed over long distances. There are no such major centres in Hong Kong territory after leaving Kowloon. Intermediate stations increase the overall journey time, making the high-speed railway less attractive.

Why should the termini of high speed railways be located in the city centres? Why should the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station of be located in West Kowloon instead of Northwest New Territories?

Most termini of high-speed railways in the world are located in city centres – where population and economic activities are concentrated. Comprehensive transport choices connect travellers to and from onward destinations. Such an arrangement will attract more travellers to use the Express Rail Link, thus maximizing the economic benefits of the rail link.

In Hong Kong, around 30% of this population (2.1 million) and almost half of the workforce (1.7 million) are within 5 kilometres of the West Kowloon Station. West Kowloon is close to most of the commercial, retail, hotel and residential areas, and is well served by existing railway and road networks. From the Station, most commercial and residential districts in the territory will be accessible in 30 minutes by easy rail connections. Thus, West Kowloon is an ideal location for the Station.

Is the Express Rail Link convenient enough for the residents in the New Territories?

The Express Rail Link is convenient for residents in the New Territories as the West Kowloon Station is planned as a railway hub. The Station is well connected with the Kowloon Station and Austin Station. Access to the Station for residents of the New Territories is easy by the MTR. The West Kowloon Station Bus Terminus located at the Station also provides public transport facilities for the connection to different districts in the city.

Why does the Express Rail Link adopt a dedicated corridor instead of shared tracks?

A dedicated corridor has been adopted instead of shared tracks to avoid hindering either existing or future domestic services (for example, Airport Express Line, Tung Chung Line and West Rail Line) or the Express Rail Link, and to allow the trains to travel at 200 km/h in Hong Kong territory.

A dedicated corridor is adopted for the 26-km Express Rail Link. How do the passengers evacuate from the train in case of emergencies?

To cater for rescue operations, Emergency Rescue Sidings will be located at Shek Kong, and there will be emergency access points along the tunnel alignment. These safety facilities provide emergency escape exits for passengers and access for rescue teams in case of emergencies. Cross passages in the tunnels are also built for emergency, to enable passengers to move from one tunnel to another if needed for safety reasons.

What are the construction methods for the 26-km Express Rail Link?

Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) and the drill & blast method will be adopted for the construction of the Express Rail Link tunnels. The Terminus and some of the railway facilities will be constructed by the cut-and-cover method.

What type of trains will be adopted for the Express Rail Link?

The design of trains for the Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link (XRL) were based on CRH380A model from the Mainland.

Will the co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) arrangement be adopted by the Express Rail Link?

Hong Kong SAR Government is undergoing the legislation making process for the co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) arrangement.

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