SHENZHEN: A new railway will allow commuters to spend just half an hour travelling from Hong Kong to downtown Shenzhen.
Currently a railway linking the two places stops at southern Shenzhen's Luohu Station. The journey takes 45 minutes.
The Ministry of Railways agreed with Shenzhen municipal government on Tuesday to build an underground station, Futian Station, in the city's downtown area.
The station will be part of a new high-speed railway already under construction linking Guangzhou with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Work on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen section of the new railway, which is above the ground, began at the end of last year.
It was designed to meet the railway from Hong Kong at the underground Futian Station, where checkpoint equipment will be installed to help people to cross the border to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The new Futian Station, when completed, will link up with the four lines of Shenzhen's urban metro, most of which will begin operation by 2010.
Experts said the arrangement could not only satisfy the fast-growing Shenzhen but help form a Shenzhen-Hong Kong Metropolis Ring.
"It's vital we build a railway station in the downtown area as it will provide the dense population here with better transportation to other parts of the country," Yu Wanjun, a veteran urban planner, told the local newspaper Shenzhen Evening News yesterday.
"Running underground is the best choice since it will not splinter the central business area of the city and can save land resources," he said.
Vincent Poon, a Hong Kong interior designer with projects in Shenzhen, also applauded to the project.
"The current checkpoint facilities can barely cope with the rising number of people flowing between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. We will be happy to have a convenient, comfortable and time-saving railway service," said Poon, who travels to Shenzhen two or three times a week.
The governments of Shenzhen and Hong Kong have been working hard to improve border-crossing facilities.
The metros of the two cities are expected to meet in 2009.
Shenzhen, which has just one railway station now, is expected to become a railway hub for South China in the next five years.
The new Guangzhou-Hong Kong railway will eventually be connected to Beijing. After completion, it will take no more than 10 hours to get from Shenzhen to Beijing.
(China Daily 08/25/2006 page3)
Downtown Shenzhen to get HK train(Over)
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