South China finally gets high-speed rail to downtownDecember 9, 2015 / By
Despite immense development of China’s high-speed rail network over the last decade, one difficulty for business travellers has been that stations are often situated on the outskirts of the cities they serve and require transfers to reach the city’s actual CBD area; increasing the travel time for an otherwise convenient and comfortable mode of transport.
Business trips between our offices in Zhujiang New Town (CBD of Guangzhou) and Futian CBD in Shenzhen usually take more than an hour despite the high-speed rail portion of the journey taking only half an hour–boarding at Guangzhou South Railway Station in Panyu and disembarking at Shenzhen North Railway Station in Longhua. As a result, using the high-speed rail link between the two cities has not offered any significant savings in travel time from the 1.5 hour journey by traditional rail between Guangzhou East Railway station and Shenzhen Luohu Station.
But business travellers are eager for the upcoming opening of Futian Station, a new high-speed railway station in Shenzhen’s Futian CBD that promises to be a key transportation hub between Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
As part of the future Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Futian Station will be located only 15 minutes from West Kowloon in Hong Kong and 30 minutes from Guangzhou. Due to open at the end of 2015, the station will directly connect five metro lines and many Grade A office buildings, shopping malls and five-star hotels in the Futian CBD. This will not only spur greater office demand but also change the business environment in the area.
Infrastructure development plays a key role in driving long-term economic growth, and China has been investing huge amounts in infrastructure for many years. Unlike previous high-speed rail projects, the 147,000 sqm Futian Station will not only be the largest of its kind in Asia but offers a good example of improved infrastructure development that considers the advantages of combining city development and transportation convenience. This in turn means that the new high-speed railway station will likely be a game changer for the Futian CBD office market.
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