Wbreast cancer awareness wristbandshole line of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link put into operation

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A passenger takes a selfie with G5711, the first high-speed train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong, at Shenzhen North Railway Station in Shenzhen city, South China"s Guangdong province, on Sunday. [Photo/Xinhua]

HONG KONG -- The whole line of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has been put into official operation, as the Hong Kong section of the high-speed railway entered into service on Sunday morning.

A bullet train G5736 left Hong Kong West Kowloon Station at 7 am on Sunday for Shenzhen North Railway Station in Guangdong Province and arrived at the Shenzhen station in 19 minutes.

Some 500 passengers, including those from media, came to the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to take the first train.

The carriage was quite spacious and the seats could be adjusted to face front or back, according to Mr. Leung, a Hong Kong citizen who were aboard the train.

"It (the ride) is quite comfortable. In the future, I would like to go to some places further, like Beijing for example. It takes only a few hours after all," the 70-year-old man told Xinhua.

The rail link could bring more opportunities to Hong Kong and "I feel quite excited to witness such a historic moment," said Leung.

Earlier in the morning, the high-speed train G5711 left Shenzhen North Railway Station at 6:44 am for Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, and arrived at the Hong Kong station at 7:03 a.m..

At 6:48 am, high-speed train G6501 left Guangzhou South Railway Station to head for Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and arrived at the Hong Kong station in 55 minutes.

Hou Ruiting, the captain of train G5711, said the train attendants have all received training on manners and languages to better their services in the ride.

"Our attendants have taken special training and examinations of Cantonese and English to cater to all passengers," said Hou.

A Shenzhen resident, who gave her family name as Wang, took the first train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong, with her four family members.

"It took only 19 minutes for us to arrive in Hong Kong from Shenzhen. (It"s) so convenient. In the past, I had to spend nearly two hours on the trip," said Ms. Wang.

Customs clearance procedures are simplified, with exit-entry inspections by both sides being conducted at the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.

"The co-location arrangement is very convenient and I finished all the clearance procedures in a few minutes. Now I can"t wait to try the famous Yum Cha (a traditional Hong Kong-style dim sum meal with tea)," said another resident from Shenzhen, who gave his family name as Tian.

The whole rail line was put into service one day ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a key traditional festival for family reunion. Many passengers took the train to join with their families for festival celebration.

A Hong Kong citizen surnamed Lee took the train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong to celebrate the festival with his parents. "I live in Shenzhen with my wife and son. We are visiting my parents to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The high-speed rail makes it more convenient for us to return home in Hong Kong," Lee said.

A total of 95 pairs of high-speed trains are scheduled for the service on the line of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link on Sunday, including 13 pairs of long-distance trains, according to the China Railway Corporation.

The 141-km Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link includes 115 km on the Chinese mainland and 26 km in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Being a key part of China"s high-speed rail network, it will offer direct rail services between Hong Kong and 44 destinations on the mainland, like Beijing, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Shantou, Guiyang, Guilin and Kunming.

During the initial operation period, the numbers of trains in operation will vary with demands on weekdays, weekends and peak time. Up to 127 pairs of trains will be in service on a single day with peak demand.

From Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, it will take a minimum of 14 minutes to get to Futian Railway Station in Shenzhen, a minimum of 47 minutes to Guangzhou South Railway Station, and eight hours and 56 minutes to Beijing West Railway Station.

Chen Xiaomei, spokesperson with China Railway Guangzhou Group Co. Ltd., said the mainland and Hong Kong have built coordination mechanisms covering various aspects such as dispatching and commanding trains, passenger transportation and power supply.

Various emergency response plans have been mapped out to ensure safe operation of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Chen said.

The rail link is expected to facilitate exchanges between the mainland and the Hong Kong SAR and boost economic development along the line, Chen said.


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