The national railway operator will gradually add 62 high-speed trains running between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong each day starting from April 1 to meet the increasing demand of cross-border passengers, which will bring the total number of daily trains between the two sides from the current 102 to 164, reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Among the newly added trains scheduled for operation, 40 will run between cities in Guangdong and Hong Kong, and the other 22 will run between outside Guangdong and Hong Kong, the China State Railway Group said yesterday. By then, 66 stations on the mainland will open direct trains to the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.
Travelers line up to purchase train tickets at West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong in this March 3 photo. China News Service
According to the operation schedule, each day there will be 49 trains running between the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and Shenzhen North Railway Station and 30 between the Hong Kong station and Futian Railway Station.
Ticket sales of the newly added trains will start at 6 a.m. Thursday and are available via the website at www.12306.cn, or at ticket offices in railway stations, ticket brokers, and self-service ticket vending machines.
The Hong Kong West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Link resumed service Jan. 15 after nearly three years of suspension due to the pandemic.
Travelers board a Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High-speed train to Shenzhen North Railway Station in this Jan. 15 photo. China News Service
The railway operator has since gradually increased the trains running between Guangdong and Hong Kong. The trains carry about 20,000 cross-border passengers on average every day, according to the operator.
The mainland fully resumed normal travel with Hong Kong and Macao on Feb. 6.
Hong Kong saw 1.46 million visitors last month, exceeding the monthly 1-million mark for the first time since February 2020, as the number of tourists continued to grow, official data showed last week.
The number of mainland visitors jumped to over 1.1 million in February, up from 280,000 in January, according to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Last month, non-mainland travelers to Hong Kong rose from 220,000 to 350,000, with short-distance visits mainly from Southeast Asia, data showed.
In addition, data from the Hong Kong Immigration Department showed the number of mainland visitors to Hong Kong reached 102,458 Saturday, a new daily record since the resumption of border crossing in January.