Hongkongers can now easily embark on long-distance trips to the mainland! High-speed rail services to Beijing and Shanghai will resume as early as April 1. In addition, more train services to Guangdong will be available from Saturday, March 4.

Since January 15, there have only been high-speed rail services to Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Starting March 11, other cities in Guangdong such as Chaoshan and Shantou will also be available. On average, 39 trains will operate from Hong Kong to mainland China per day, but the count is expected to increase soon.

High-speed rail services will resume for long-distance trips

From March 11, over 50 trains from Hong Kong to mainland China and vice versa will operate daily. A month later, on April 11, the number of trains will increase to 82 as services are expected to resume fully.

The MTR Corporation said that they will announce the exact changes in due course. They added that there has been huge demand from cross-border travellers since the reopening of the Hong Kong-China high-speed rail link. Tickets were immediately sold out as soon as the border initially reopened, with as many as 10,000 daily tickets going on sale.

high-speed rail
Image credit: Ling Tang/Unsplash

The resumption of rail services is good news for local tourism

While the long-haul trains are operated by staff on the mainland, it’s still good news for the local tourism sector too! Speaking to The Standard, Ricky Tse Kam-ting, the founding president of the Hong Kong Inbound Tour Operators Association said that “it will make travel easier to remote mainland provinces.”

In addition, more mainland tourists can freely travel to the city via the high-speed train, giving a “boost to the tourism sector”. Per train can accommodate more than 1,000 passengers. While flights from Beijing or Shanghai to Hong Kong are short, the resumption of rail services makes travel more accessible. It is also relatively cheaper, making it an attractive alternative for many travellers.

(Hero and featured image credit: photograph by N509Fz, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license)

This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong