Intercity Railway officially opens, at last

One of the biggest infrastructure projects in the GBA, Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway, also known as the Suishen Raiway, officially opened to the public on Sunday after repeatedly delaying its launch over technical issues, according to Southern Daily. 

The 74-km railway, with 11 years of construction, was initially set to open on National Day and later postponed to November 1. The trains run from Guangzhou East Station in the capital’s Tianhe business district to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport with a highest speed of 146 km/h, although stopping at different sets of stations.

According to 12306.cn, China Rail’s official ticketing website, there are 15 runs from daily from Guangzhou East to the Shenzhen Airport Station. The time ranges from 71 minutes to two hours, with the fastest route pulling up only at two stations in Dongguan – Dongguan West Station and Humen North Station – while the slowest stops at all of the 15 stations on the line. That includes one in Guangzhou, ten in Dongguan and four in Shenzhen. The ticket prices are standardized at 81 yuan, regardless of the running time.

The first train departs Guangzhou East Station at 7:16 and the latest at 20:05, with 18 runs per day. The departure time is 7:45 at the earliest and 20:36 at the latest the other way around, with 19 runs per day, according to Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.

Several stations are interchange stations connected to other means of public transportation, with Xintang South Station, Humen North Station and Shenzhen Airport Station linking metro lines in the respective cities, and Dongguan West Station linking the Dongguan-Huizhou Intercity Railway.

Of interest is the “bus mode” operated on the newly-opened railway. Different from typical railway arrangements, tickets are sold without designated seats, which means the train could carry some 1,400 passengers with more than 470 first-come-first served seats.

For those based in Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, which is home to a bunch of tech giants, the railway line gives them much easier access to Guangzhou’s central districts given the typical means of transportation has been highway. Moreover, the extension of the railway, scheduled to begin construction by the year end, would connect Shenzhen’s well-developed Futian district and the strategically important Qianhai Special Zone, according to local media.

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