Travel time for train passengers going between Hong Kong and major Mainland cities Beijing and Shanghai will be cut short substantially, thanks to the new overnight High Speed Rail services that will begin on June 15 and operate from Friday-Monday. These trains will have sleeper cars, accommodate 600 passengers, and replace the current standard-speed direct trains that begin at Hung Hom

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that the travel time between Hong Kong and the two Mainland Chinese hubs will be “shortened by half”. The journey between West Kowloon and Beijing West will take 12 hours and 34 minutes, as opposed to the previous 24 hours and 30 minutes. In addition, the West Kowloon-Shanghai Hongqiao trip will be 11 hours and 14 minutes, down from 19 hours and 34 minutes. There will also be a single point to clear customs at West Kowloon Station instead of the existing two-location inspections at the start and end of each journey between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

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Last week, the MTR announced a new long-haul route to Hunan Province that will directly connect Hong Kong to popular tourist destinations such as Zhangjiajie and Fenghuanggucheng. The new Zhangjiajiexi route will include six new destinations: Shaoyang, Huaihuanan, Dongkou, Fenghuanggucheng, Jishoudong, and Zhangjiajiexi, providing one pair of southbound and northbound trains every day. There will also be more frequent trips between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Futian from June 15.

Tickets for these new high-speed sleeper services to Beijing and Shanghai will go on sale at 12pm on June 5 on the Rail 12306 website, and China Railway station ticket counters, and automatic ticket machines. Tickets for the new Zhangjiajiexi route are available for booking.

Header image credits: Baycrest, N509FZ via WikiCommons

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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