Due to some complicated (but not so complicated) reasons, I had to come to Guangzhou via Hong Kong. On my way from Kowloon airport express train station to Hung Hom station where I could take my train to Guangzhou, I happened to catch this amazing sight – an army of cranes. In May 2009 when I made my last visit to Hong Kong, this did not exist. Now, the whole site is full of cranes, and initially, I was wondering if this place was some sort of new parking space for cranes. But then, the sign post on the fence was reading “West Kowloon Terminus”.

[Photos taken on 1 September 2010]

This was in fact the site to build the underground Hong Kong terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, located at this part of Kowloon. The MTR web site provides a summary of this project, which turns out to be quite useful: Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link

The Hong Kong section of this express rail link will be 26 kilometers long, and will be entirely underground. For mountainous Kowloon geography, this is really going to be costly in terms of construction costs. Expected to be completed in 2015, it will take less than 50 minutes to reach Guangzhou from Hong Kong (much less than two hours by train at the moment), and long haul services to Beijing will only take 10 hours. The funding comes from the government. When all these cranes disappear and the terminus opens its service, Hong Kong will surely be much more integrated with mainland China. The army of cranes indeed shows how much the government is committed to this project.