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Hong Kong - Rail Travel
Hong Kong’s MTR is an underground system which transfers citizens of the island throughout the city’s various locations through its extensive network of trains. The MTR reaches along the north side of Hong Kong Island and travels into the Kowloon side and to the Mainland China border. Every day, the MTR has the capacity to transport 3.7 million passengers. It is the city’s most popular form of public transport. It has 10 lines that travel more than 170 kilometers. Although the times of service vary according to line, they usually run from 6 a.m.-1 a.m.
The fares are based on the distance that is being traveled, but range from HK$4-25. There is a station in just about every district and it is considered a safe, inexpensive, and convenient way of traveling throughout Hong Kong Island. Although it can get crowded during morning and afternoon rush hours, it is considered to be less congested than attempting to drive on the busy roads during those same times.
The Octopus Card is a rechargeable card that allows access on the MTR as well as other services throughout the city, such as use on parking meters. It can be used on ferries, trains, minibuses, and buses and some retail merchants accept them as payments as well. These cards can be purchased at MTR stations and value may be added to them at machines and other MTR stations. They require a minimum of HK$50 and value can later be added in HK$50 increments. When the Octopus card is placed next to a card reader, the fee is automatically deducted. You can read more about the Octopus Card at: http://www.octopus.com.hk/home/en/index.html.
The Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCR) is a popular transportation system for those who live in the New Territories. It reaches from Kowloon to Mainland China through the New Territories. There are three domestic passenger rail services on this system. It is generally not referred to as the KCR anymore and is more formally included in the MTR system these days. The line itself travels between North West New Territories and Kowloon. It also travels between Lo Wu and Tsim Sha Tsui. Feeder buses support these networks.
On the MTR’s website, visitors can find a system map as well as an iPhone app that can help plan routes and information regarding the different stations.
From the Hong Kong International Airport, the Airport Express offers a fast, wi-fi enabled train from the Hong Kong MTR station in Central. The travel time is only 24 minutes and the journey stops in Kowloon, Tsing Yi and AsiaWorld-Expo. At Hong Kong Station, passengers are able to check in luggage for some of the participating airlines. An in-town check-in exists at the Kowloon MTR station as well.
For more information regarding the MTR, including fares and journeys, visit:
Tel: 852 2881 8888
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