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[information] High Speed Rail HK West Kowloon

[information] High Speed Rail HK West Kowloon

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Old Mar 21, 19, 3:13 pm   -   Wikipost
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This wiki post contains information for the High Speed Rail in Hong Kong (West Kowloon) useful for travellers.

The High Speed Rail in HK has been opened Sep 2018, which offers a high-speed link between Hong Kong and Guangdong Province in mainland China.

The line
The line runs between HK West Kowloon and Guangzhou South, and connected to the rest of the national HSR network. Stations include:
  1. HK West Kowloon (香港西九龍) - located in West Kowloon
  2. Futian (福田) - located in Shenzhen CBD
  3. Shenzhenbei (深圳北 - bei means north) - located in the northern suburb of Shenzhen
  4. Guangmingcheng (光明城) - a town north-west of Shenzhen
  5. Humen (虎门) - a town south-west of Dongguan, near Pearl River
  6. Qingsheng (庆盛) - a town south-east of Guangzhou
  7. Guangzhounan (广州南 - nan means south) - located in the southern suburb of Guangzhou
1, 3 and 7 above are major stations, 2 and 5 are medium-scale stations, while 4 and 6 are rural stations with very few frequency. A non-stop train between HK West Kowloon and Guangzhounan takes 47 minutes, while a train between HK and Futian / Shenzhenbei takes 14 and 18 minutes respectively.

Trains which only run inside this line are called short-haul trains, and others which go beyond are called long-haul trains. Most trains serving HK are short-haul trains, although there are long-haul trains to various cities outside Guangdong, the selection is limited and the frequency is scarce, and it may be better off to take a short-haul train to Shenzhenbei or Guangzhounan to transfer instead. As the time of writing, there are no sleeper trains serving HK yet, and you need to take a short-haul to Shenzhenbei to transfer to an overnight sleeper to Beijing or Shanghai.

Ticketing
There are two ticketing systems for HSR HK West Kowloon: These two are distinct systems and you need to make sure that you are using the correct system.
The MTR ticketing system is from Hong Kong, with the following feature and limitations:
  • Has Chinese and English interfaces
  • Ticketing deadline is 2 hours on internet, and 30 (officially 45) minutes at West Kowloon Station
  • No mobile ticketing
  • Ticket collection is only possible at West Kowloon Station at 30 minutes deadline
  • Service (i.e. change / refund) is only possible at West Kowloon Station
  • Accepts multiple credit card networks (including Visa / Mastercard / UnionPay), and also Octopus Card at the ticket machines
  • Only sells tickets to / from Hong Kong, but not domestic tickets
12306 is the mainland system, with the following feature and limitations:
  • in Chinese only
  • Ticketing deadline is 30 minutes on Internet and mobile app
  • Ticket collection is possible without charge nationwide, also from the 12306 machines at West Kowloon Station, however a relative small charge is levied if taken manually from HK West Kowloon 12306 counters. Moreover, the 12306 machines only accepts Chinese ID card, home return permit of HK / Macau residents, and Taiwan Compatriot Pass of Taiwan residents (i.e. "Chinese" nationals), and foreigners need to collect the ticket manually. There is no deadline on ticket collection.
  • Service is possible at any station nationwide
  • Mostly accepts mainland payment methods, and the only international payment method accepted is a UnionPay credit card
  • Sells tickets nationwide, including domestic tickets
The 12306 system is considered superior because of the various limitations and deadlines on the MTR system. However, if you have neither any mainland payment method nor a UnionPay credit card, it is not possible to use the 12306 system online and have to use the inferior MTR system instead.

As all ticket collection machines in both ticketing systems only accepts Chinese identification documents, if you are a foreigner, it is unavoidable for you to queue at a manual counter according to the system you use to collect the ticket. This is considered the most visitor-unfriendly part. However, as there is no limitation how early you can get the tickets beforehand, it is advisable to collect the outbound and return tickets together. Note that it is not possible to collect tickets from MTR system in mainland China, but it is possible if the ticket is bought in 12306. If you bought the ticket through 12306, you should collect the return ticket from any station in mainland in order to avoid the fee at West Kowloon.

If you need to transfer to a domestic train, it is not possible to use the MTR system, only 12306 (mainland system) can be used.

The ride
Both Hong Kong and mainland immigration are located inside HK West Kowloon station, i.e. there is a part of station leased to mainland. For northbound train, you need to pass both immigration before boarding, and I recommend at least 20 minutes for that. For southbound train, you need to pass both immigration after alighting, and it's fine to arrive at the mainland station 15 minutes before departure, less for smaller stations.

From HK to mainland, you need to enter the first gate barrier at concourse level, pass security, then immigration and custom, and finally the second gate barrier to the platform. The first gate barrier opens early to allow enough time for immigration, while the second gate barrier opens 15 minutes before departure. There is no shopping and dining inside the gate.

From mainland to HK after alighting, you need to pass immigration and custom first, and finally the exit gate.

Note that, from mainland to HK, short ticketing is not allowed and is considered fare evasion, unlike in mainland China where you are allowed to short your ticket (especially when there is no availability to your intended destination) and pay the fare difference on the train. If your ticket is not to HK, you have to leave the train at the stop before entering HK at the latest.

In reality, a southbound ride is less hassle than a northbound ride, due to the ticketing system and the difference in the immigration procedure. Immigration numbers also show that southbound trains are more popular than northbound trains.

The maximum speed of trains is 200 km/h between HK and Shenzhenbei, and 300 km/h between Shenzhenbei and Guangzhounan. There are 3 kinds of trains running on this line:
  • 和谐号 - mainland-operated trains, including short-haul and long-haul
  • 复兴号 - mainland-operated long-haul trains
  • 動感號 (Vibrant Express) - MTR-operated short-haul trains, without dining car
GETTING TO / FROM TRAIN STATION
Metro
The high speed rail West Kowloon station is directly connected to West Rail Line Austin Station of HK metro system, however, it is not a convenient station to most of the people since West Rail Line is more like a suburban line than an urban metro line, and transfer from that line to the urban lines means another 5 minutes walk.

The HSR station is also connected to Airport Express / Tung Chung Line Kowloon station via a footbridge with about 10 minutes walk, but it is also a suburban line instead, and transfer to the urban lines at Hong Kong / Central stations means another 5 minutes walk.

The nearest urban line metro station, Tsuen Wan Line Jordan Station is about 15 minutes walk away through Austin Station exit A and Jordan Road.

Therefore, it is suggested to take road transport instead if your destination is inconvenient to be reached from Austin Station.

Bus
There are 3 express bus routes starting with W connecting to major places where the metro is relatively not convenient.
  • W1 - Central, Admiralty
  • W2 - Jordan, Kowloon Bay, Lam Tin, Kwun Tong
  • W3 - Sha Tin, Tai Po, Sheung Shui
There routes are direct to the mentioned destinations, which can be taken at exit B.
There are also a large number of routes at other exits, including exits A for Jordan Road and exit K for bus terminus, but depending on the route, they may take a detour in the urban area before heading to the main destination. The bus stops are called "West Kowloon Station", "Austin Station" or "Jordan Road"
Moreover, if you have a train ticket, you are eligible to take the airport express shuttle bus at exit J as well.

Taxi
Red taxis can be taken at exit B and offers a direct connection to Hong Kong Island via Western Harbour Crossing, but the tunnel toll is very high, or any other place inside Hong Kong except Southern Lantau. It offers a great value of your destination is in Kowloon.

Suggested transport routes for major destinations in Hong Kong
  • Airport: Take bus A22 - direct via motorway ( https://mobile.nwstbus.com.hk/nwp3/?...Kong_Port)&l=1 ) - from airport to train station, get off at the first stop in the city. Journey time from airport to train station is 35 minutes. Alternatively take the airport express and walk 10 minutes from Kowloon Station
  • Central: Take Tung Chung Line between Hong Kong and Kowloon stations (10 minutes walk from train station), or bus W1, depending on exact destination
  • Wan Chai / Causeway Bay: Take West Rail Line to Hung Hom, then transfer to a cross-harbour bus (102, 106, 108, 112, 116, etc.)
  • Tsim Sha Tsui: take the metro West Rail Line for a stop
  • Mong Kok: take a bus from the stop at Jordan Road (exit A then exit A, eastbound to Mong Kok), including 36B, 42A, 81, 970, 970X, 971, etc., and many more, from Mong Kok to train station just look at the destination plate saying "West Kowloon Station"
  • Kwun Tong: take the express bus W2
  • HKU / Pok Fu Lam: take bus 970 / 970X / 973 from the stop at Jordan Road (westbound to HK heading for Cyberport / Aberdeen / Stanley)
  • Chinese University: take metro West Rail Line to Hung Hom, than East Rail Line to the university
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Old Mar 18, 19, 8:03 pm
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[information] High Speed Rail HK West Kowloon

I'm opening this thread for members to quickly find information about taking the new high speed train as there isn't seem to have a thread about it after searching the forum.

The line
The line runs between HK West Kowloon and Guangzhou South, and connected to the rest of the national HSR network. Stations include:
  1. HK West Kowloon (香港西九龙) - located in Kowloon CBD
  2. Futian (福田) - located in Shenzhen CBD
  3. Shenzhenbei (深圳北 - bei means north) - located in the northern suburb of Shenzhen
  4. Guangmingcheng (光明城) - a town north-west of Shenzhen
  5. Humen (虎门) - a town south-west of Dongguan, near Pearl River
  6. Qingsheng (庆盛) - a town south-east of Guangzhou
  7. Guangzhounan (广州南 - nan means south) - located in the southern suburb of Guangzhou
1, 3 and 7 above are major stations, 2 and 5 are medium-scale stations, while 4 and 6 are rural stations with very few frequency. A non-stop train between HK West Kowloon and Guangzhounan takes 47 minutes, while a train between HK and Futian / Shenzhenbei takes 14 and 18 minutes respectively.

Trains which only run inside this line are called short-haul trains, and others which go beyond are called long-haul trains. Most trains serving HK are short-haul trains, although there are long-haul trains to various cities outside Guangdong, the selection is limited and the frequency is scarce, and it may be better off to take a short-haul train to Shenzhenbei or Guangzhounan to transfer instead. As the time of writing, there are no sleeper trains serving HK yet, and you need to take a short-haul to Shenzhenbei to transfer to an overnight sleeper to Beijing or Shanghai.

Ticketing
There are two ticketing systems for HSR HK West Kowloon:These two are distinct systems and you need to make sure that you are using the correct system.
The MTR ticketing system is from Hong Kong, with the following feature and limitations:
  • Has Chinese and English interfaces
  • Ticketing deadline is 2 hours on internet, and 30 (officially 45) minutes at West Kowloon Station
  • No mobile ticketing
  • Ticket collection is only possible at West Kowloon Station at 30 minutes deadline
  • Service (i.e. change / refund) is only possible at West Kowloon Station
  • Accepts multiple credit card networks (including Visa / Mastercard / UnionPay), and also Octopus Card at the ticket machines
  • Only sells tickets to / from Hong Kong, but not domestic tickets
12306 is the mainland system, with the following feature and limitations:
  • in Chinese only
  • Ticketing deadline is 30 minutes on Internet and mobile app
  • Ticket collection is possible without charge nationwide, also from the 12306 machines at West Kowloon Station, however a relative small charge is levied if taken manually from HK West Kowloon 12306 counters. Moreover, the 12306 machines only accepts Chinese ID card, home return permit of HK / Macau residents, and Taiwan Compatriot Pass of Taiwan residents (i.e. "Chinese" nationals), and foreigners need to collect the ticket manually. There is no deadline on ticket collection.
  • Service is possible at any station nationwide
  • Mostly accepts mainland payment methods, and the only international payment method accepted is a UnionPay credit card
  • Sells tickets nationwide, including domestic tickets
The 12306 system is considered superior because of the various limitations and deadlines on the MTR system. However, if you have neither any mainland payment method nor a UnionPay credit card, it is not possible to use the 12306 system online and have to use the inferior MTR system instead.

As all ticket collection machines in both ticketing systems only accepts Chinese identification documents, if you are a foreigner, it is unavoidable for you to queue at a manual counter according to the system you use to collect the ticket. This is considered the most visitor-unfriendly part. However, as there is no limitation how early you can get the tickets beforehand, it is advisable to collect the outbound and return tickets together. Note that it is not possible to collect tickets from MTR system in mainland China, but it is possible if the ticket is bought in 12306. If you bought the ticket through 12306, you should collect the return ticket from any station in mainland in order to avoid the fee at West Kowloon.

If you need to transfer to a domestic train, it is not possible to use the MTR system, only 12306 (mainland system) can be used.

The ride
Both Hong Kong and mainland immigration are located inside HK West Kowloon station, i.e. there is a part of station leased to mainland. For northbound train, you need to pass both immigration before boarding, and I recommend at least 20 minutes for that. For southbound train, you need to pass both immigration after alighting, and it's fine to arrive at the mainland station 15 minutes before departure, less for smaller stations.

From HK to mainland, you need to enter the first gate barrier at concourse level, pass security, then immigration and custom, and finally the second gate barrier to the platform. The first gate barrier opens early to allow enough time for immigration, while the second gate barrier opens 15 minutes before departure. There is no shopping and dining inside the gate.

From mainland to HK after alighting, you need to pass immigration and custom first, and finally the exit gate.

Note that, from mainland to HK, short ticketing is not allowed and is considered fare evasion, unlike in mainland China where you are allowed to short your ticket (especially when there is no availability to your intended destination) and pay the fare difference on the train. If your ticket is not to HK, you have to leave the train at the stop before entering HK at the latest.

In reality, a southbound ride is less hassle than a northbound ride, due to the ticketing system and the difference in the immigration procedure. Immigration numbers also show that southbound trains are more popular than northbound trains.

The maximum speed of trains is 200 km/h between HK and Shenzhenbei, and 300 km/h between Shenzhenbei and Guangzhounan. There are 3 kinds of trains running on this line:
  • 和谐号 - mainland-operated trains, including short-haul and long-haul
  • 复兴号 - mainland-operated long-haul trains
  • 動感號 (Vibrant Express) - MTR-operated short-haul trains, without dining car

I've taken this train 3 times, 2 times southbound and 1 time northbound. As most of the trips are in a hurry, I only have very few photos to share. The following photos are taken from a southbound trip on an MTR-operated train:








Information of getting to/from the train station will be in next post.
miklcct is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 8:44 pm
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Getting to/from train station

Metro
The high speed rail West Kowloon station is directly connected to West Rail Line Austin Station of HK metro system, however, it is not a convenient station to most of the people since West Rail Line is more like a suburban line than an urban metro line, and transfer from that line to the urban lines means another 5 minutes walk.

The HSR station is also connected to Airport Express / Tung Chung Line Kowloon station via a footbridge with about 10 minutes walk, but it is also a suburban line instead, and transfer to the urban lines at Hong Kong / Central stations means another 5 minutes walk.

The nearest urban line metro station, Tsuen Wan Line Jordan Station is about 15 minutes walk away through Austin Station exit A and Jordan Road.

Therefore, it is suggested to take road transport instead if your destination is inconvenient to be reached from Austin Station.

Bus
There are 3 express bus routes starting with W connecting to major places where the metro is relatively not convenient.
  • W1 - Central, Admiralty
  • W2 - Jordan, Kowloon Bay, Lam Tin, Kwun Tong
  • W3 - Sha Tin, Tai Po, Sheung Shui
There routes are direct to the mentioned destinations, which can be taken at exit B.
There are also a large number of routes at other exits, including exits A for Jordan Road and exit K for bus terminus, but depending on the route, they may take a detour in the urban area before heading to the main destination. The bus stops are called "West Kowloon Station", "Austin Station" or "Jordan Road"
Moreover, if you have a train ticket, you are eligible to take the airport express shuttle bus at exit J as well.

Taxi
Red taxis can be taken at exit B and offers a direct connection to Hong Kong Island via Western Harbour Crossing, but the tunnel toll is very high, or any other place inside Hong Kong except Southern Lantau. It offers a great value of your destination is in Kowloon.

Suggested transport routes for major destinations in Hong Kong
  • Airport: Take bus A22 - direct via motorway ( https://mobile.nwstbus.com.hk/nwp3/?...Kong_Port)&l=1 ) - from airport to train station, get off at the first stop in the city. Journey time from airport to train station is 35 minutes. Alternatively take the airport express and walk 10 minutes from Kowloon Station
  • Central: Take Tung Chung Line between Hong Kong and Kowloon stations (10 minutes walk from train station), or bus W1, depending on exact destination
  • Wan Chai / Causeway Bay: Take West Rail Line to Hung Hom, then transfer to a cross-harbour bus (102, 106, 108, 112, 116, etc.)
  • Tsim Sha Tsui: take the metro West Rail Line for a stop
  • Mong Kok: take a bus from the stop at Jordan Road (exit A then exit A, eastbound to Mong Kok), including 36B, 42A, 81, 970, 970X, 971, etc., and many more, from Mong Kok to train station just look at the destination plate saying "West Kowloon Station"
  • Kwun Tong: take the express bus W2
  • HKU / Pok Fu Lam: take bus 970 / 970X / 973 from the stop at Jordan Road (westbound to HK heading for Cyberport / Aberdeen / Stanley)
  • Chinese University: take metro West Rail Line to Hung Hom, than East Rail Line to the university
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Old Mar 19, 19, 7:36 am
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I used it for the first time a few months ago. There were two things that were noteworthy to me.

NORTHBOUND (To Mainland China): The immigration throws a BIG HUGE unknown into the departure time. I arrived about 50+ minutes before the train I wanted to take; they refused to sell me tickets because they want to allow time to get through immigration (foreigner). I understand how that -- at times -- can take an unpredictable amount of time. So the next train was perhaps 1:45 later. Immigration took 10 minutes to clear, so I spent ALOT of time just waiting. No shops. No food/beverage. In fact, as I recall, there was not even adequate seating. So the next time we tried the train I allowed slightly more than an hour, and they STILL gave me a hard time and pushed me to get tickets to the next train. I complied. Again, immigration was quick and I was there 45+ minutes before the train I wanted to take. There was a customer service counter where I was able to exchange my ticket for the earlier train, so the wait was not so bad this time. Putting immigration ahead of the departure really sucks.

LUGGAGE: Trying to travel with luggage seems to be a bit of a grey area. At least it was when I travelled. It is not like airline travel, where there is a clear mechanism for checking luggage. It seems there is some sort of 3rd party that you "hire" to handle the luggage. But it's not even clear if it arrives on the same train as you! The website (at the time) seem to indicate that carrying on large travel suitcases would not be allowed, but we decided to just give it a try. Nobody said anything. We had first class tickets. The car was completely empty; we were the only two passengers. There was not any sort of luggage rack; the car attendant just had us push them behind the seats in the last row. I don't know what would've happened if the car had been full, or if that space behind the seats had already been filled. And I don't know holding first class seats was different than standard fare seats.
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Old Mar 19, 19, 9:00 am
  #4  
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-- On the Mainland, whatever the formal restrictions on carry-on size and weight, you can usually bring aboard what you can carry. But there were many complaints when the new line opened that MTR staff were strictly enforcing the rules, forcing passengers to ship some of their luggage separately.

-- Once you add in the time to get to the station and the inability to just buy a ticket and go, the speed advantage over the traditional routes vanishes.

-- On 12306 you can refund your tickets online, so long as you haven't picked up your paper ticket.

-- Note that online booking for Chinese trains halts overnight.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang View Post
I used it for the first time a few months ago. There were two things that were noteworthy to me.

NORTHBOUND (To Mainland China): The immigration throws a BIG HUGE unknown into the departure time. I arrived about 50+ minutes before the train I wanted to take; they refused to sell me tickets because they want to allow time to get through immigration (foreigner). I understand how that -- at times -- can take an unpredictable amount of time. So the next train was perhaps 1:45 later. Immigration took 10 minutes to clear, so I spent ALOT of time just waiting. No shops. No food/beverage. In fact, as I recall, there was not even adequate seating. So the next time we tried the train I allowed slightly more than an hour, and they STILL gave me a hard time and pushed me to get tickets to the next train. I complied. Again, immigration was quick and I was there 45+ minutes before the train I wanted to take. There was a customer service counter where I was able to exchange my ticket for the earlier train, so the wait was not so bad this time. Putting immigration ahead of the departure really sucks.

LUGGAGE: Trying to travel with luggage seems to be a bit of a grey area. At least it was when I travelled. It is not like airline travel, where there is a clear mechanism for checking luggage. It seems there is some sort of 3rd party that you "hire" to handle the luggage. But it's not even clear if it arrives on the same train as you! The website (at the time) seem to indicate that carrying on large travel suitcases would not be allowed, but we decided to just give it a try. Nobody said anything. We had first class tickets. The car was completely empty; we were the only two passengers. There was not any sort of luggage rack; the car attendant just had us push them behind the seats in the last row. I don't know what would've happened if the car had been full, or if that space behind the seats had already been filled. And I don't know holding first class seats was different than standard fare seats.
thats why the trains in china model is bad. unreliable travel times to start.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post
thats why the trains in china model is bad. unreliable travel times to start.
High-speed trains in China are well-known to be clean and punctual, much better than trains in the west, and better than the slow trains, and certainly better than air travel.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
High-speed trains in China are well-known to be clean and punctual, much better than trains in the west, and better than the slow trains, and certainly better than air travel.
Not trying to be argumentative, but I'm wondering about the time comparison to the East LIne. I never think about that schedule for the East Line; I just show up whenever I want, and there is a train to Lok Ma Chau or Lo Wu every 6 to 12 minutes. So there is never much of a wait. Of course, getting through immigration on the mainland can take a while. And then taking the MTR to Shenzhenbei (for an apples to apples comparison) also adds a lot of time (and changing MTR trains too).

I'm honestly not sure if the HSR saves much time if you are travelling to Shenzhen. Yes, the train is MUCH faster with no stops; only something like 15 minutes. But after you wait for AT LEAST 1 hour before boarding, AND allow time for ticketing, etc, does it really save you much time? And there is also some risk if you want to gamble with only allowing a short time to pass through immigration, because if you miss the train, they don't refund your ticket, do they? And I'm not sure if they'd put you on the next train.

Anyway, all that said, I think the high-speed rail is MUCH less of a hassle.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang View Post
Not trying to be argumentative, but I'm wondering about the time comparison to the East LIne. I never think about that schedule for the East Line; I just show up whenever I want, and there is a train to Lok Ma Chau or Lo Wu every 6 to 12 minutes. So there is never much of a wait. Of course, getting through immigration on the mainland can take a while. And then taking the MTR to Shenzhenbei (for an apples to apples comparison) also adds a lot of time (and changing MTR trains too).

I'm honestly not sure if the HSR saves much time if you are travelling to Shenzhen. Yes, the train is MUCH faster with no stops; only something like 15 minutes. But after you wait for AT LEAST 1 hour before boarding, AND allow time for ticketing, etc, does it really save you much time? And there is also some risk if you want to gamble with only allowing a short time to pass through immigration, because if you miss the train, they don't refund your ticket, do they? And I'm not sure if they'd put you on the next train.

Anyway, all that said, I think the high-speed rail is MUCH less of a hassle.
I've taken that HSR between HK West Kowloon and Shenzhen 3 times - 2 southbound and 1 northbound.
The 1st time was really just to have a try - I started from somewhere on Shenzhen Line 3 and ended at Ma Tau Wai - therefore neither HSR nor East Line were convenient, and HSR won the time using the speed.
The 2nd time I was transferring from a domestic train at Shenzhen North with 9 minutes layover, so it was a natural choice to take it back to Kowloon. It saved MUCH time in this case.
The 3rd time, which was the only northbound trip, was from HKU to somewhere on Shenzhen Line 3, not only it saved time but it also saved 2 transfers as well - I could take bus 970 to HSR station, HSR to Futian and transfer to Line 3 directly, while in the past without HSR , I had to take bus to HSR station, take the West Line to Hung Hom, then East Line to Lo Wu, then Line 1 and finally Line 3. It really saved MUCH time in this case as well.

Therefore the HSR, under many circumstance, can save MUCH time for travellers in Hong Kong, unless you start in the northern new territories where you are better off to get on train in Shenzhen North instead.

Also, there is no risk involving passing through immigration on southbound trains, so the advantage is even larger.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 10:11 pm
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Of course it does depend on where you're starting and where you're ending up.

But when you're heading to or starting from anywhere in central Guangzhou, then the traditional routes (either the direct train or via Shenzhen) will usually make more sense, since HSR dumps you at distant Guangzhou South.
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Old Mar 24, 19, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
High-speed trains in China are well-known to be clean and punctual, much better than trains in the west, and better than the slow trains, and certainly better than air travel.
and have more accidents too
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Old Mar 24, 19, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post

and have more accidents too
Are you kidding me? Don't western trains have more accidents than Chinese trains?
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Old Mar 27, 19, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
Are you kidding me? Don't western trains have more accidents than Chinese trains?
No.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 5:59 pm
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:08 am
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I'll be in HK next month both before and after Canton Fair in Guangzhou. Was always a big fan of the KTT train for the bigger seat in premium class. Going to try the high-speed service this time even though it's more money and Guangzhou Nan is about 30 minutes further to/from my hotel.

With everything going on, there's a slight chance I might want to bypass HK (should the trade fairs in HK before/after Canton Fair be canceled)...

Anyway, my question is--do the trains tend to sell out in advance, or am I okay walking up and buying a ticket? My times are not too specific, but would like to avoid rush hour in GZ in both directions, so looking at around 12 Noon-1PM departures in both directions.

Can I buy GZ-HK (return) tickets for specific trains there in HK as well? By the time I'm ready to leave HK, I'll already know when I'd want to come back to HK.

I'd probably book first class, but that overkill-gaudy-amazing-looking-over-the-top 'business class' seat on the China-national trains might be too good to pass up, at least for one way. Otherwise I will aim for the HK-based "Vibrant" trains in First Class. (I'm not sure why in the case of rail that business class is 'better' than first class).

Any further input for this westerner would be greatly appreciated. I'm slightly conversational in Mandarin, Cantonese is lost on me, and I cannot read but 50 characters...So the 12306 website is not an option for me.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:46 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
I'll be in HK next month both before and after Canton Fair in Guangzhou. Was always a big fan of the KTT train for the bigger seat in premium class. Going to try the high-speed service this time even though it's more money and Guangzhou Nan is about 30 minutes further to/from my hotel.

With everything going on, there's a slight chance I might want to bypass HK (should the trade fairs in HK before/after Canton Fair be canceled)...

Anyway, my question is--do the trains tend to sell out in advance, or am I okay walking up and buying a ticket? My times are not too specific, but would like to avoid rush hour in GZ in both directions, so looking at around 12 Noon-1PM departures in both directions.

Can I buy GZ-HK (return) tickets for specific trains there in HK as well? By the time I'm ready to leave HK, I'll already know when I'd want to come back to HK.

I'd probably book first class, but that overkill-gaudy-amazing-looking-over-the-top 'business class' seat on the China-national trains might be too good to pass up, at least for one way. Otherwise I will aim for the HK-based "Vibrant" trains in First Class. (I'm not sure why in the case of rail that business class is 'better' than first class).

Any further input for this westerner would be greatly appreciated. I'm slightly conversational in Mandarin, Cantonese is lost on me, and I cannot read but 50 characters...So the 12306 website is not an option for me.

Thanks!
Have you heard anything specific about any of the HK Fairs being canceled? I have not. I am planning to go to the HK Megashow. I do expect it to be a quiet show. Since it is during the week I am not very concerned, the protests seem to be on the weekend, then everyone goes to work on Monday.

Anyway, for trains to and from HK you should be able to buy your tickets here:
https://www.ticketing.highspeed.mtr.com.hk/its/
Tickets are not available until 30 days before the departure date, you can only purchase from 6 AM to 11 PM Hong Kong Time, and you have to collect the tickets at the West Kowloon station.

I have a colleague getting my tickets but my understanding is that this site is good.
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