MTR-operated High Speed Rail service confirms date of opening
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Rail (HSR) link, which connects Hong Kong with the 25,000km high speed rail network in the Mainland of China, will open its passenger service on 23 September and be operated by MTR Corporation, it has been confirmed.
MTR will operate the high speed services on the HSR for the next 10 years, and will be operating 114 daily pairs of high speed short-haul services during peak times. MTR has led the development of the 26km section of route from the Mainland border into Hong Kong.
More than 700 personnel are currently working on the final preparations for HSR so that it opens smoothly on 23 September. When opened, MTR will be operating a fleet of trains in Hong Kong and into routes in Mainland China with a maximum speed of 300kph, leading to a drastic reduction in journey times.
Journeys on the 26km route between West Kowloon station and Futian will take 14 minutes, with the longer route of 142km between West Kowloon and Guangzhou South taking just 47 minutes.
Commenting, Jeremy Long, CEO, European Business, MTR Corporation, said:
“MTR has already gained valuable experience from the development and shadow operator phases of this project, and we look forward to developing our expertise in the operation of high speed rail services further when HSR officially opens to passengers, as well as deploying this knowledge in other projects here in Europe.”
MTR Corporation is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading operators of metro, commuter and airport rail systems and has a successful international consulting business. It is also an acknowledged world leader in Rail + Property development, and manages shopping malls, retail units, apartments and other major buildings along some of its lines.
In the UK, MTR Crossrail is the operator of the Crossrail concession (which will be renamed the Elizabeth line when fully open), and is currently running TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. MTR will begin running services between: Heathrow and Paddington in May 2018; Paddington and Abbey Wood in December 2018; Paddington and Shenfield in May 2019; and full through services (including to Reading) in December 2019.
MTR has operated South Western Railway, one of the largest UK franchises, as a joint venture with First Group since August 2017. As part of this, First MTR South Western Trains Limited will deliver new trains, redeveloped stations, and a range of other enhancements which will improve both rail services and customer experience.
MTR was a joint venture partner in London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL), which held the concession from November 2007 until November 2016.
Elsewhere in Europe, MTR runs the Stockholm Metro, the Stockholm Pendeltåg commuter railway and provides open access MTR Express services between Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Around the world, MTR: runs metro, commuter rail, light rail and infrastructure, develops and manages significant rail-related property and is delivering new rail lines and major upgrade projects in Hong Kong; operates lines in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou in Mainland China; is lead shareholder in a joint venture operating the Melbourne train system and leads a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) consortium which will deliver and operate the Sydney Metro Northwest in Australia.
Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, MTR has a market capitalisation of approximately £24 billion, and is included on the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. It won over 50 awards in 2017 for quality, customer service and sustainability.