Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL)

Getting from Hong Kong to the mainland has for many years been an arduous process of cross-border buses, bus + metro + light rail, or if you could afford such, a private car. Not anymore.

With the line opening on the 23/09, tickets are now on sale for the new High Speed Rail Link which smashes traveling times between the regions.

Trains depart from the new West Kowloon Station which can be reached via the Airport Express Rail Line (Kowloon Station) or Tung Chung MTR Line (Austin Station). At West Kowloon Station you will actually go through Mainland Immigration Checkpoint before boarding the train making the journey to mainland China seamless and fast.

 

Base Fares for the XRL
Hong Kong to Guangzhou South – Fare: 247 HKD – Travel time: 48 Minutes
Hong Kong to Humen – Fare: 204 HKD – Travel time: 30 Minutes (estimate)
Hong Kong to Shenzhen North – Fare: 86 HKD – Travel time: 23 Minutes
Hong Kong to Shenzhen Futian – Fare: 78 HKD – Travel time: 14 Minutes

These fare examples are for standard second class tickets, you can spend extra for First Class, with select trains also offering Premium Class, and the ultimate being Business Class.

Note:  Fares are calculated on the published RMB price then converted to HKD at market rates every month, so, HKD rates do fluctuate slightly. There is also an additional service fee placed on tickets bought on the Hong Kong side, so technically, it is cheaper to take this train to Shenzhen, disembark, and then buy your ticket to other onward destinations, but a little inconvenient.

Buying tickets online: https://www.ticketing.highspeed.mtr.com.hk
Buying tickets at the station: Level B1 Ticket Hall West Kowloon Station

 

Stations on the GZ-HK-SZ XRL Line

Station 
CN
Metro Connection
Location
Guangzhou South 广州南  GZ Metro Line 2, 7 Panyu, Guangzhou
Qingsheng 庆盛  GZ Metro Line 4 Nansha, Guangzhou
Humen 虎门  Dongguan Metro line 2 Humen, Dongguan
Guangmingcheng 光明城 Bao’an, Shenzhen
Shenzhen North 深圳北  SZ Metro line 4,5 Bao’an, Shenzhen
Futian 福田  SZ Metro line 2, 3, 11 Futian, Shenzhen
West Kowloon 香港西九龙  HK MTR Tung Chung line
Airport Express (via Kowloon)

West Rail line (via Austin)
West Kowloon, Hong Kong

 

Long Haul destinations from West Kowloon Station via XRL

You can also buy direct tickets for 38 long-haul destinations within mainland China that are along the Beijing-Guangzhou Passenger Line, Hangzhou-Fuzhou-Shenzhen Passenger Line, Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Line and Guiyang-Guangzhou Passenger Line, which includes major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Changsha, Chaoshan, and Hangzhou.

You could also disembark at Shenzhen North Station and continue on High Speed Rail to Beijing, Changsha, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Guilin, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Hong Kong, Huangshan, Jinan, Kunming, Luoyang, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Shanghai, Shijiazhuang, Suzhou, Xiamen, Xian, Wuhan, Yangshuo, and Zhengzhou

You could also disembark at Guangzhou South Station, and continue on High Speed Rail to destinations include Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guilin, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Hefei, Huangshan, Jinan, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Qingdao, Shijiazhuang, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xian, Yangshuo, Yiwu, Zhengzhou, and Zhuhai.

 

Timetables

Short Haul Train Schedule from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station

* Additional train for peak season # Additional train on weekends  ^ Long-haul train

Train West Kowloon Futian Shenzhen North Guangming Humen Qingsheng Guangzhou South
G5736 07:00 07:19
G9722* 07:07 07:21
G5710 07:13 07:27 07:37
G6382^ 07:23 07:42
G5834*# 07:30 07:44
G9760* 07:40 07:54
G9736* 07:50 08:04
G80^ 08:05 08:24 08:56
G5814 08:12 08:26
G5738 08:20 08:39
G6582 08:30 08:49 09:09 09:28
G5836*# 08:35 08:50
G3006^ 08:40 08:59
G9762* 08:45 08:59
G6506 08:50 09:05 09:15 09:36 09:55
G9738* 09:00 09:14
G5724 09:05 09:23
G6386^ 09:11 09:26 09:36
G6516 09:16 09:31 09:41 10:02 10:22
G5816 09:22 09:36
G5740 09:38 09:57
G5838*# 09:44 09:58
G6524 09:49 10:08 10:42
G9764* 09:54 10:08
G6548 10:00 10:47
G9740* 10:05 10:19
G5726 10:18 10:37
G5818 10:27 10:41
G6532 10:33 10:52 11:15 11:34
G6540 10:44 10:58 11:08 11:30 11:49
G5840*# 10:51 11:05
G5742 10:58 11:17
G9766* 11:03 11:17
G100^ 11:10 11:29 12:01
G6584 11:17 11:35 12:07
G9742* 11:22 11:36
G5820 11:30 11:44
G5728 11:40 11:59
G6508 11:50 12:09 12:21 12:48
G6390^ 11:55 12:14
G5842*# 12:00 12:14
G312/3^ 12:06 12:25 12:45 13:05
G9768* 12:11 12:25
G5744 12:17 12:36
G6518 12:21 12:36 12:46 13:11 13:30
G9744* 12:29 12:43
G5822 12:35 12:49
G6526 12:49 13:03 13:13 13:26 13:45 14:00
G5802 12:54 13:08
G5806 13:00 13:14
G5844*# 13:05 13:19
G9770* 13:13 13:28
G6534 13:24 13:39 13:49 14:11 14:34
G9746* 13:30 13:45
G5720 13:36 13:56
G5824 13:41 13:55
G6542 13:53 14:12 14:32 14:51
G5746 13:58 14:17
G5804 14:03 14:17
G6384^ 14:13 14:32
G5808 14:18 14:32
G3002^ 14:23 14:42
G6510 14:31 14:50 15:25
G5846*# 14:36 14:50
G9748* 14:41 14:56
G5826 14:47 15:02
G9772* 14:55 15:10
G6520 15:00 15:47
G5722 15:05 15:24
G3004^ 15:18 15:37
G5810 15:23 15:38
G5748 15:28 15:47
G6550 15:33 15:52 16:14 16:33
G5706 15:38 15:56
G5848*# 15:45 16:00
G5828 15:54 16:08
G9774* 16:07 16:22
G9750* 16:12 16:27
G6536 16:17 16:36 16:56 17:15
G6586 16:25 16:43 17:03 17:22
G5730 16:30 16:49
G6388^ 16:37 16:56
G5750 16:45 17:04
G5850*# 16:53 17:08
G6528 17:02 17:21 17:53
G6512 17:08 17:27 18:03
G5830 17:13 17:28
G6114^ 17:18 17:37 18:09
G9776* 17:23 17:42
G9752* 17:29 17:43
G6544 17:35 18:22
G5702 17:40 17:59
G5732 17:48 18:07
G5852*# 17:56 18:11
G5752 18:08 18:27
G5832 18:23 18:37
G9754* 18:33 18:48
G6552 18:40 18:55 19:05 19:26 19:45
G9778* 18:46 19:01
G5708 18:56 19:15
G6588 19:02 19:21 19:41 20:00
G5854*# 19:12 19:26
G5734 19:17 19:36
G5704 19:27 19:46
G9726* 19:32 19:46
G6502 19:37 19:56 20:17 20:36
G5754 19:42 20:02
G3008^ 19:47 20:07
G9756* 19:52 20:07
G6530 19:57 20:16 20:36 20:55
G9780* 20:02 20:16
G6514 20:10 20:28 20:48 21:07
G5856*# 20:17 20:32
G6538 20:23 20:38 20:48 21:08 21:27
G6546 20:33 20:53 21:19 21:38
G9724* 20:38 20:53
G9728* 20:43 20:58
G5714 20:54 21:13
G6522 21:00 21:19 21:39 21:58
G9782* 21:05 21:20
G9758* 21:10 21:25
G9732* 21:17 21:32
G9734* 21:25 21:40
G9730* 21:47 22:02
G5712 22:02 22:21
G9784* 22:07 22:21
G6504 22:50 23:09 23:41

 

Long Haul Train Schedule from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station

Train Stations
G6382 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Huizhou South Puning Chaoshan
07:23 07:42 08:30 09:47 10:18
G6386 West Kowloon Futian Shenzhen North Pingshan Huizhou South Shanwei Kuitan Chaoyang Chaoshan
09:11 09:26 09:36 10:20 10:32 11:09 11:36 12:05 12:23
G6390 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Pingshan Houmen Lufeng Chaoshan
11:55 12:14 13:01 13:34 14:02 14:52
G6384 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Pingshan Shanwei Chaoyang Chaoshan
14:13 14:32 15:13 15:56 16:46 17:10
G6388 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Pingshan Huidong Shanwei Chaoyang Chaoshan
16:37 16:56 17:36 17:58 18:25 19:15 19:34
G80 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Guangzhou South Changsha South Wuhan Zhengzhou East Shijiangzhuang Beijing West
08:05 08:24 08:56 11:17 12:38 14:25 15:50 17:01
G312/3 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Humen Guangzhou South Guilin West Guiyangbei Kunming South
12:06 12:25 12:45 13:05 15:25 17:37 19:44
G3002 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Chaoshan Xiamenbei Quanzhou Putian Fuzhou
14:23 14:42 17:04 18:23 18:52 19:19 20:03
G3006 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Huizhou South Shanwei Chaoyang Chaoshan Zhangpu Zhangzhou Xiamen
08:40 08:59 09:50 10:28 11:18 11:35 12:20 12:40 13:15
G3004 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Huizhou South Houmen Puning Chaoshan Zhangzhou Xiamen
15:18 15:37 16:24 16:52 17:40 18:12 19:15 19:55
G3008 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Huizhou South Xiamen
19:47 20:07 20:53 23:52
G6114 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Guangzhou South Shaoguan Chenzhouxi Hengyang East Zhuzhouxi Changsha South
17:18 17:37 18:09 19:04 19:37 20:12 20:41 21:07
G100 West Kowloon Shenzhen North Guangzhou South Shaoguan Changsha South Nanchang West Shangrao Jinhua Hangzhoudong Shanghai Hongqiao
11:10 11:29 12:01 12:56 14:36 16:00 17:00 17:47 18:35 19:27

 

Trains on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong High Speed Railway

The bullet trains are the Chinese made CH380A, CRH3C, CRH380BK, and CRH380BL. These trains have a top speed in excess of 350 km/h although on the Hong Kong section of the line they will run at 200 km/h (124 mph) and 300 km/h (187 mph) within mainland China.

 

Below is an example of seating although some train units may differ slightly. Each carriage has its own toilet, wash basin, and hot water fountain. There is a large luggage space at the front of the individual carriage and overhead storage for light luggage.

The trains offer second class and first class seats. Some select trains also offer premium class and/or business class.

Second Class Seats

 

 

First Class seats

 

 

WiFi and power sockets

WiFi is free but limited to one 15 minute session while in Hong Kong. Once you cross the border you are required to have a mainland phone number or wechat app to reconnect and you get two 15 minute sessions for free. For long-haul trips, you may want to secure a mainland multi-region sim card with enough data if net access is important. 

First class and second class seats have power sockets available. Power sockets handle most all plug types.

 

Notes and Tips

Arrive 45 mins before departure time to give enough time to clear customs.

Gates for trains close 5 minutes before departure time.

This is the fastest and most convenient way to reach Shenzhen with Futian Station located in the heart of the CBD.

If you are heading to Guangzhou it is a slightly different story. If your business or travel plans are focused on the CBD and Tianhe area then also consider that you will need to take the GZ Metro from GZ South to the city center. That journey takes around 50-60 minutes. In that case, you may then also consider taking the Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train that departs from Hung Hom and disembark at Guangzhou East Railway Station as time wise they are similar.

All immigration procedures at handled at West Kowloon Station, to board the train you will require a passport and valid Chinese visa.

Baggage limits:

  • Adult 20 kg
  • Child 10 kg
  • Diplomat 35 kg.

The sum of the length, width and height of hand-carried baggage must not exceed 130 cm.

For large parcels and luggage, there are services located in the Ticketing Concourse at level B1 (next to the Ticketing Counter) of West Kowloon Station.