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The Vibrant Express is a high-speed train set running on the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). The high-speed service connects Hong Kong to Guangzhou and, since its launching in September 2018, it has turned extremely popular overtaking other transportation options between Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Now you can easily book your train tickets in China with Baolau.
China Railway High-speed (CRH) serviceChina Railway operates different types of high-speed trains, designated with service classes G, C and D. G-series trains provide long distance high-speed service with maximum speed of 300 km/h, and are the most common type of trains running on the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong line.
For this journey, we will be taking the Vibrant Express G6582 from Hong Kong West Kowloon to Guangzhou South in First Class. The Vibrant Express is operated by MTR Corporation and uses 8 cars per train set on a Hexie (Harmony) CRH380A high-speed EMU. The G6582 is the first Vibrant Express service of the day to Guangzhou South, departing at 8:30 AM, followed by two G-series train departures every hour.
Departure from Hong Kong West Kowloon StationHong Kong West Kowloon Station is located in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong. Opened on 23 September 2018, it is the terminus for high-speed railway services to and from Hong Kong, and the second passenger terminal for trains connecting with Mainland China, after Hung Hom Railway Station, which serves conventional intercity through trains to Dongguan, Guangzhou and Foshan since 1979, as well as long distance intercity Z-series trains to Beijing and Shanghai since 1998.
With the opening of West Kowloon Station, passengers have now an alternative choice to travel by train from Hong Kong to Mainland China and reach other cities where high-speed trains are available. The station is easily accessible from the city through Kowloon Station of the Airport Express and MTR Tung Chung line, as well as Austin Station of MTR West Rail line.
Looking back at Hong Kong Island from the station courtyard. By the MTR, West Kowloon Station is just one station away from Tsim Sha Tsui via Austin Station, and one station away from Hong Kong Central in Hong Kong Island via Kowloon Station.
If you are reaching West Kowloon Station from Kowloon Station, follow the signs and go through Elements Shopping Mall then cross the footbridge which ends at Exit M of the station.
View of West Kowloon Station in the busy morning as there are trains already departing since 7 AM.
Entering the departure concourse. Proceed to the ticket counters to purchase your ticket or, if you book your train tickets online with Baolau, present the printed copy of our electronic voucher containing the ticket collection number along with your passport to claim the physical ticket.
With your train ticket in hand, you can proceed to the security check, where the MTR staff will check your boarding pass and travel documents. After completing the security check, go down the escalator and be ready to clear Hong Kong immigration.
Once cleared from Hong Kong immigration, there are a plenty of duty-free shops before entering Mainland China immigration checkpoint.
Unlike Hung Hom Station that only provides immigration and customs for Hong Kong, whereas immigration and customers for Mainland China are being cleared at the arrival station, West Kowloon Station integrates immigration and customs for Mainland China as well.
After clearing immigration and customs for Mainland China, proceed to the waiting area where you can access the train departure gates.
Ticket gates open 15 minutes before departure and close only 5 minutes to departure, so be ready for announcements as there is not much time for boarding.
Once you are in the train platform, locate your coach number. Vibrant Express consists of 8 cars, 2 for First class and 6 for Second class.
Passenger experienceToday we are travelling in the First class. Coaches are located at cars 1 and 8 of Vibrant Express, which is both ends of the train.
The First class coach consists of Soft seats arranged in 2+2 row configuration with a warm interior.
A preview of the First class seat.
The seat in front features a coat hook, a tray table, a charging port and footrest.
The reclining button, the reading light and the audio controller are located at the side of the armrest.
The Second class coach consists of Soft seats arranged in a 2+3 row configuration with a brighter interior.
Unlike other long distance CRH trains, there is no dining car attached to the Vibrant Express and there is no food or drink service on board. Passengers can bring their own snacks and beverages, so we recommend that you check out the restaurants, food stalls and convenience stores at West Kowloon Station before boarding the train.
The journeyOnce the train departs from West Kowloon Station, the maximum speed it reaches within the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Line (XRL) is 200km/h.
By entering the underground section of Mainland China, our train skips Futian Railway Station. There are a plenty of Vibrant Express services shuttling between Hong Kong West Kowloon and Futian, with some other CRH trains making a stop there as well.
After the underground section, the train stops at Shenzhen North Railway Station. There will be passengers waiting to board this train. Domestic travel inside Mainland China is allowed on the Vibrant Express and other trains bound to/from West Kowloon because immigration has already been cleared in Hong Kong.
From Shenzhen, long-haul trains bound for Chaoshan, Fuzhou, and Xiamen will split from the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link and take the Xiamen-Shenzhen high-speed railway line. We continue our journey along the XRL passing through the Gaofeng Reservoir.
The ideal maximum speed on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong XRL is 300km/h, but the train can overspeed a little as the maximum operating speed is 350km/h and technically it is designed for 380km/h.
Stopping at Humen Railway Station. Some trains from Hong Kong and Shenzhen will skip this station.
Humen is located in the suburbs of Dongguan. This station is the terminus of the Dongguan Rail Transit Line 2 that also connects with Dongguan Railway Station.
Leaving Humen Railway Station, we pass by the suburbs of Dongguan.
Crossing the Shizi Channel, in parallel to the Guangfo Expressway.
Soon after, we can see the Guangzhou South train depot in the distance, which means that we are approaching our destination.
As we enter Guangzhou, we can spot many China Railway High-speed (CRH) trains entering and leaving the city.
Arrival to Guangzhou South Railway StationThe journey from Hong Kong West Kowloon to Guangzhou South stopping at two stations takes 58 minutes.
Guangzhou Nan or Guangzhou South Railway Station is the main station for high-speed trains in Guangzhou and the terminus of the MTR Vibrant Express. It is located at the Southern suburbs of Guangzhou.
Passengers transferring to other CRH trains already holding their onward ticket may head up to the departure level opposing to the departure gate and show the ticket to the staff upon entering the gate.
Passengers heading to Guangzhou, please follow the exit signs that will lead to the escalator down towards the arrival hall.
To exit the arrival concourse, passengers holding blue tickets can use the automated gates. Passengers holding red tickets may have to use the staff gates located at the sides.
The public area at Guangzhou South Railway Station level 1 has plenty of restaurants and shops.
Guangzhou South Railway Station is connected to the city by Guangzhou Metro. The metro entrance is located at the arrival hall (Exit H).
Guangzhou South Railway Station is served by Line 2 and Line 7 of the Guangzhou Metro. Line 2 connects with Beijing Road, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and Guangzhou Main Station. Line 7 connects to Line 3 for the Zhujiang New Town CBD, Tianhe Sports Center, Guangzhou Dong Railway Station, and Baiyun International Airport.
How to book your train tickets from Hong Kong to GuangzhouOverall the MTR Vibrant Express is a great alternative to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, especially if you wish to avoid the crowd at Lo Wu and Futian (Lok Ma Chau Station) border checkpoints served by the MTR East Rail Line.
Baolau lists the high-speed railway services available, so you can compare and select the most convenient schedule and available fare.
Fill in the passenger form and select your seat. In First class, you can choose between window or aisle seat for you and your accompanying party, ensuring that you will all travel together.
Complete your payment before submitting a booking request. Once your reservation is processed, you will receive by email your ticket confirmation and our electronic voucher containing the ticket collection numberissued by China Railway.
The electronic voucher is not a valid boarding pass and it cannot be used to board the train.
Passengers must present a printed copy of the electronic voucher displaying the ticket collection number at the ticket counter of the railway station along with the passport (and passports from the accompanying passengers) to collect the physical ticket.
Passengers can collect the tickets at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station anytime in advance. If you wish to collect your ticket on the same day of departure, we recommend that you arrive at the station at least 2 hours in advance, since there may be queues at the ticket counters and you may risk missing your train.
This article first appeared on www.baolau.com
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