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Express Rail Link ‘will benefit economy’

Hong Kong, 26 September 2018: Boase Cohen & Collins Partner Alex Liu has hailed Hong Kong’s new bullet train as a great success after being invited on its maiden cross-border journey.

Mr Liu attended the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link opening ceremony at the West Kowloon terminus and was among the guests when the “Vibrant Express” took leaders from Hong Kong and the Mainland on a 47-minute ride to Guangzhou, reaching speeds of over 300km/h.

“Having visited the West Kowloon station site almost a year ago to see how construction work was progressing, it was a thrill to be invited to the grand opening and to finally experience the train ride. The journey to Guangzhou was smooth and pleasant and seemed to be over in the blink of an eye,” said Mr Liu, who was invited in his capacity as a Director of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong.

“While the Express Rail Link project has been criticised in some quarters, no one can deny it is a hugely impressive engineering achievement. I’m convinced that before long it will be seen as a vital part of Hong Kong’s transport infrastructure and will have a high degree of usage. The bullet train gives us improved connectivity with the Mainland and, I’m sure, our economy will benefit as a result.”

Last Saturday’s opening ceremony was conducted by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui and they were joined by several hundred guests, including Mainland officials and Hong Kong lawmakers, on the maiden journey. Mr Liu was interviewed by a local TV crew during his brief stay at Guangzhou South station before returning to Hong Kong. The new train service formally opened to the public the next day.

The Express Rail Link took eight years to build at a cost of HK$84 billion. The new train service can reach Shenzhen in just 14 minutes while the 47-minute trip to Guangzhou is around 90 minutes faster than the old service. There is also a daily nine-hour service to Beijing. The ambitious project links Hong Kong’s 26-km line directly to China's 25,000-km high-speed rail network, the largest in the world.

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BC&C Partner Alex Liu is pictured in front of the “Vibrant Express” before the rapid journey back from Guangzhou South station where he was interviewed by a local TV crew (below).

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