POSTED BY Ed (9 days ago)
Born of controversy and protest, Hong Kong’s new high-speed rail link to mainland China is finally open. Every hour, seven trains from Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou pull into the vast underground terminus in West Kowloon, joined by another 13 daily trips from more far-flung places like Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai.

Passengers make their way through a building that resembles a seashell half submerged in the sand. First, they pass through a large zone that is still technically part of mainland China – a particularly contentious arrangement that saw Hong Kong cede control over a million square feet of land. After they clear Hong Kong customs and immigration, they reach the surface, where they are greeted by the full sweep of Hong Kong’s skyline rising above Victoria Harbour.

Most of them will continue to their destinations in a taxi or on the MTR. But if they took a left and continued for ten minutes down Canton Road, they would reach a handsome Edwardian clock tower with its own glorious view of the harbour. This is where the original Kowloon Station once stood: the point of departure for Hong Kong’s first great train to China.


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