(Yicai Global) Aug. 10 -- The Hong Kong section of a high-speed rail link connecting the special administrative region to the Chinese mainland is set to open to passengers next month, slashing the time it takes to travel to Beijing by almost two thirds.
Once the offshore section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is complete, passengers will be able to travel between the capital and the southern financial hub in around nine hours, Beijing Evening News reported.
The journey normally takes around 24 hours on a sleeper train into Hong Kong's Hung Hom station, or three and a half hours by air. The new route will send passengers from Beijing West to the newly built West Kowloon station via Guangzhou South.
Prices and schedules for the new route have not yet been disclosed but tickets are expected to cost around CNY1,000 (USD147).
A port will also be set up at West Kowloon where mainland and Hong Kong authorities can conduct exit and entry supervision. Once the new link is up and running, passengers from the special administrative region will be able to go through immigration, customs and quarantine at the station before heading on to one of 17 mainland destinations.
Hong Kong's MTR is responsible for setting up and handling the new route, including ticket booking, transfers at Guangzhou South, exit and entry administration and boarding. The firm has already opened several ticket booking channels and built an app and website to help travelers plan their journey.
Editor: James Boynton