Hong Kong – A key milestone for the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) has been achieved with the main works of the project substantially completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Speaking at the ceremony, Carrie Lam said, “We look forward to the completion of the Express Rail Link, a major project which will bring Hong Kong a better future. The project has gone through years of planning and various challenges during its construction. While the completion of the Project is approaching, it is important to remember that it has been a joint effort, with great professionalism and a spirit of striving for excellence being shown by the engineering teams and regulating departments involved, which together have overcome the challenges they faced. With the considerable time and effort invested, we are now in a position to witness their achievements today, and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the colleagues of various government departments and the MTR team for their endeavours.”
“We are thrilled to see this project coming to fruition. The construction of this cross-boundary railway connection has never been an easy feat. We have overcome various challenges during the past few years and it is exciting to see that the railway is ready to proceed to its trial operations. In the coming months, we will continue to make our best endeavours to get ready for commissioning the rail service this September,” said Professor Frederick Ma.
During the ceremony, Carrie Lam also unveiled the winning entry for the High Speed Rail Train Naming Competition – “動感號” (translated as ‘Vibrant Express’). In January this year, the Corporation launched the competition to invite members of the public to propose a name for the nine new high-speed trains, which will operate between Hong Kong and Guangzhou South upon the opening of the new high-speed railway. Over 16,000 entries were received and a judging panel was formed to select the winning name which best reflects the unique characteristics of Hong Kong. “‘Vibrant Express’ was selected as it can best demonstrate the Hong Kong’s characteristics – a vibrant city bursting with energy,” said Professor Frederick Ma.
Before the ceremony, Carrie Lam, Frank Chan and the officiating party took a train ride from the Shek Kong Stabling Sidings to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to have a first-hand experience of the Express Rail journey. “The High Speed Train compartments are very quiet and spacious, and the train ran very smoothly during our ride. The greatest benefit of the Express Rail Link to Hong Kong residents will be their convenient and comfortable access to the Mainland as well as cross-boundary services, and trips to Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other major Mainland cities will be a breeze!” said Carrie Lam.
The Express Rail Link will connect Hong Kong with the National High-speed Rail Network of over 25,000 km to bring a convenient and comfortable new travelling experience to passengers. With the main works substantially completed, overall the project was 99.2% complete by the end of February 2018.