THE Guangzhou-Shenzhen intercity rail began service yesterday, offering a quick link for passengers in the two neighboring cities.

The 74-km rail has 15 stations, 10 of which are above ground. It runs between Shenzhen International Airport and Guangzhou’s Xintang via Dongguan. It connects at Xintang Station with a through-service via the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway to Guangzhou East Station.

At 7:16 a.m. yesterday, the first train, C6701, left Guangzhou East Station and arrived at Shenzhen Airport Station at 8:56 a.m. The trip took one hour and 40 minutes.

A media ride from Shenzhen Airport Station to Guangzhou East Station yesterday morning took 77 minutes, which is the fastest trip between the two cities because it only stopped at three stations along the route.

A train of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen intercity rail arrives at the Fuhai West Station in Bao’an District during the trial operation stage of the rail line on Dec. 8. Shenzhen Special Zone Daily

“It has finally opened after changing schedules several times, and the train is fast and stable,” a passenger surnamed Xu said yesterday.

“It took hours to get between the downtowns of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, but now it takes just over an hour,” said Xu, who showed his train ticket to reporters.

There is no seat number on the ticket, which means passengers can take any seat as long as it is vacant.

The fare for a trip between Shenzhen Airport Station and Guangzhou East Station is 81 yuan (US$11), 4.5 yuan higher than a second-class seat fare between Shenzhen Railway Station in Luohu District and Guangzhou East Station.

According to Wen Hua, vice head in charge of Guangzhou-Shenzhen bullet train operation, the eight-carriage train can carry 1,400 passengers on one trip, and the rail is designed to run at a speed of 140 kilometers per hour.

During the initial operation period, the operator will put 37 trains on the line, including 33 trains between Shenzhen Airport Station and Guangzhou East Station. On a regular day, the operator will operate 33 trains along the line per day.

The earliest train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen departs from Xintang South Station at 7 a.m., and the latest train leaves at 8:05 p.m. The earliest train from Shenzhen Airport Station leaves at 7:45 a.m. and the latest train leaves at 9:21 p.m.

The Shenzhen section has a total length of 17 kilometers and four stations, namely Shajing West, Heping, Shenzhen Airport North and Shenzhen Airport Station.

Five exits are available at Shenzhen Airport Station. Passengers transferring by bus can use Exit B, which leads to the airport’s ground-level parking lot, while air passengers can use exits C1, C2 or C3. Passengers of the intercity rail can exit at C3 and walk about 300 meters down the passageway to interchange with Line 11 to downtown Shenzhen.

Wu Huan, commander of the Pearl River Delta Intercity No. 1 Construction Headquarters, said the railway will be extended to Futian CBD in Shenzhen and to Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport through a link with Xintang Station.

It will be connected with other Pearl River Delta cities through links with the Foshan-Dongguan rail, Dongguan-Huizhou rail and Guangzhou-Foshan rail.

The rail supports e-tickets for all stations except Guangzhou East Railway Station, which is currently working to upgrade its facilities before the 2020 Spring Festival.

Source: Shenzhen Daily