Guangzhou-Shenzhen-HK rail link needs funds to stay on track

Updated: 2016-01-06 13:32


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Guangzhou-Shenzhen-HK rail link needs funds to stay on track

A train pulls into a station in Luoyang city, Henan province, June 30, 2015. [Photo / IC]

More funds are needed before March for the construction of the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL), the National Business Daily reported on Wednesday.

Frederick Ma Si-hang, the new chairman of MTR Corporation, said earlier that the HK$65 billion ($8.39 billion) allocated by Hong Kong SAR government will run out by June 2016, and the company has to inform contractors three months in advance whether new funds will be injected to continue the project.

However, Ma added that the Hong Kong section is currently 77 percent completed, and he is confident that the project will be finished in the third quarter of 2018.

Last December, Hong Kong SAR government negotiated with MTR Corporation to revise the completion date to the third quarter of 2018, including a six-month grace period. Meanwhile the cost estimate was revised to HK$84.42 billion, HK$18.38 higher than previously budgeted HK$65 billion.

Although facing some issues such as overspending and technical difficulties, the Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong railway has enormous significance for enhancing the connection between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

"Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway is a national strategic project. I'm sure it'll be completed," Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering, told National Business Daily.

The Hong Kong section of the rail link is about 26 kilometers long and will run along a dedicated underground rail corridor from a new terminus at West Kowloon to the boundary near Lok Ma Chau for connection with the mainland section of the XRL. The construction work began in 2010.