XRL sleeper trains welcomed

June 4, 2024

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said today that it warmly welcomes the introduction of sleeper trains on the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL).


Announcing the XRL sleeper berths this morning, the China State Railway Group Co (China Railway) said that the ordinary-speed train services between the Hong Kong Hung Hom Station and Beijing/Shanghai will be upgraded to XRL sleeper train services.


Starting June 15, this new service will ply between the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and the Beijingxi Station/Shanghai Hongqiao Station from Fridays to Mondays, with trains departing in the evenings and arriving the following mornings.


The new sleeper trains on the XRL Hong Kong section will significantly reduce rail travel times, almost by half, between Hong Kong and Beijing, from over 24 hours to about 12.5 hours, and between Hong Kong and Shanghai from 19.5 hours to about 11 hours.


With the number of passenger seats largely increased to 600 and its operation mode of evening departures and morning arrivals, the new XRL sleeper trains will allow passengers to arrive at their destinations after a comfortable overnight journey, enriching travel options as well as saving a night of hotel charges, the Hong Kong SAR Government emphasised.


Chief Executive John Lee expressed his gratitude for the central government’s care for Hong Kong, as well as the strong support from China Railway and various Mainland authorities.


He noted that the train service to be introduced will cover a wider range of destinations, including popular tourist attraction cities, apart from being more comfortable, faster, and reducing the travel time by about half.


“The upgraded train service will further meet the travel demand of wide-ranging passengers for cross-boundary journeys.


“It carries great significance in facilitating the cross-boundary flow of people, solidifying the people-to-people bonds between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and enabling the city to better integrate into the national development,” Mr Lee added.


The Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that the new sleeper trains will fully capitalise on the advantage of the “co-location arrangement”, compared to the “separate-location arrangement” immigration clearance procedure adopted by the Intercity Through Train (ITT) service that limited the number of Mainland destinations that could be connected.


The trains will also stop at intermediate stations including Shijiazhuang in Hebei and Hangzhou in Zhejiang, enhancing the economic and trade co-operation as well as people-to-people exchanges between Hong Kong and a wider range of provinces and cities on the Mainland.


Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung also welcomed the introduction of the XRL sleeper berths.


“The new sleeper trains will operate from Fridays to Mondays, tailored to meet the passenger needs and provide them with a more convenient, comfortable and high-quality cross-boundary rail service, enhancing the travel experience for both business and leisure passengers."


The Hong Kong SAR Government said that the number of destinations directly connected to the XRL Hong Kong section has progressively increased from 44 since its commissioning to 78 starting from June 15, including all ITT stations, with at least 200 XRL train trips running every day.


The MTR Corporation (MTRC) will soon announce the details and ticketing arrangements of the XRL sleeper train service.


The Hong Kong SAR Government added that it will continue to work with the MTRC to maintain close communication and co-ordination with the relevant Mainland authorities and railway operators to enhance the services of the XRL Hong Kong section, so as to provide a more efficient, convenient and safe cross-boundary railway service for passengers and travellers of the two places.

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