112,000 cross border at West Kowloon

Source : Tan Yifan

A TOTAL of 112,000 travelers had crossed the border at West Kowloon Station Checkpoint in the first two days after the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail line started operation Sunday.

On the opening day Sunday, 42,000 travelers took trains to Hong Kong and 33,000 inbound travelers went through the joint checkpoint at the West Kowloon rail terminus under the co-location inspection arrangement.

On Monday, the last day of the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday for mainlanders, the number of travelers had slightly dropped to 37,000 by 6 p.m., according to statistics from Shenzhen General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection.

During the peak hours between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., the checkpoint opened more lanes to ensure Chinese nationals could finish crossing the border within the maximum of 30 minutes under a national rule of the National Immigration Administration.

The checkpoint also saw some cases of passengers trying to use invalid certificates or visas to cross the border.

The operation of the 26-km Hong Kong section marked Hong Kong’s connection to the national high-speed rail network.

At a ceremony marking the commencement of the high-speed rail service, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Hong Kong chief executive, said the new transport service will strengthen coordinated development and boost exchanges in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

With the new service, Hong Kong people are able to reach 44 mainland destinations, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Hangzhou, with greater ease.

Lam said the addition of the high-speed rail will strengthen the synergy effect with the two economic zones around Beijing and in the Yangtze River Delta and form a stronger link with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Guangdong’s governor, Ma Xingrui, called the commencement of the service a milestone that provides a major boost for cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong.

The rail is estimated to handle around 80,000 travelers daily and the annual passenger turnover will reach 80 million a year by 2020.