The Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station is built for high-speed service between Hong Kong and Chinese mainland. High-speed service started on September 23, 2018, but was temporarily halted from 2020 to 2022 due to the Covid-19. As of January 15, the service has resumed. Now Hong Kong is connected directly to 66 train stations in Chinese mainland by high-speed trains.
West Kowloon Station is the southern terminus of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). This station is in West Kowloon and adjacent to the metro stations of Kowloon and Austin. So it is now the major travel hub in the Kowloon area for both China travel and internal transportation.
It is the world's largest underground train station and has won international design awards. For travelers, it is now the fastest way to travel between Hong Kong and many of China's cities within an easy day's travel time. Those wishing convenient travel to and from southeastern China and international locations can now utilize the bullet train, the MTR, and Kong Kong International Airport.
- Chinese: 香港西九龙火车站
- Location: Jordon, Yau Tsim Mong District, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Station size: 15 platforms, with 9 long-distance platforms and 6 short-distance platforms
- Area: 11 hectares
West Kowloon Station Layout
It is the world's largest underground train station and measures 400,000 square meters. It is equipped with many convenient facilities including China customs and immigration, Kong Kong customs and immigration, and quick access to the airport via the Kowloon Station access for those traveling internationally.
West Kowloon Station comprises five floors. Four floors are underground and one floor is above ground. Most of its facilities are underground.
West Kowloon Station Design Layout
The 5 floors are the surface level lobby on the ground floor (G1), the ticketing hall (B1), the arrival concourse (B2), the departure concourse (B3), and the platform level (B4).
- First Floor (1F): the first floor above the ground, also called the ground floor, has a concourse hall with entertainment spaces laced with a large series of cultural elements. It has entrances and footbridges connecting the station to West Kowloon Cultural District, Kowloon Station (MTR), and Austin Station (MTR) and an extensive garden area in front.
- Basement Floor 1 (B1): ticket office, parking lot, taxi stands, stores, and restaurants
- Basement Floor 2 (B2): arrival level, Mainland Port Area, Hong Kong Port Area, immigration, customs, passengerway to Austin Station (MTR), taxi stands and stores
- Basement Floor 3 (B3): departure level, Mainland Port Area, Hong Kong Port Area, immigration, customs
- Basement Floor 4 (B4): platform area. There are 15 platforms. Nine are for long-distance trains and 6 are for Guangdong regional trains.
Special Features and Facilities of Interest for Travelers
The huge train station has many facilities good for tourists and travelers. There is direct access to the Elements Mall that is one of Hong Kong's Best Luxury Malls, direct access to the West Kowloon Cultural District and Xiqu Centre, an open plaza city park in front of the building, and a rooftop promenade with great Victoria Harbor and skyline views where you can watch the Symphony of Lights or fireworks in the evening.
You'll also find convenient restaurants, fast food, and shop services on level B1. But for better dining and shopping, we suggest you walk 9 minutes to the Elements Mall via the passageway. For Chinese opera, tea, and art, you could use the pedestrian passageway to Xiqu Centre outside of Austin Station.
Artistic touches include angled pillars and the streamlined roof that features 4,000 pieces of glass and more than 16,000 pieces of aluminum sheeting with irregular shapes. Tourists will enjoy the airport-like seating arrangements.
Awards: In 2010, the designers won the "Cityscape Awards for Architecture" of the Emerging Markets of Tourism, Travel & Transport Future Awards and the "Best Future Project ─ Infrastructure" of the World Architecture Festival Awards.
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station Service
You can now travel to stations in 44 cities on Chinese mainland, and more cities will be available in the future.
West Kowloon Station embarks 190 pairs of high-speed trains to Chinese mainland every day. These include 139 pairs of short-distance trains to Futian, Shenzhen North, and Guangzhou that leave at an average interval of 13 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes respectively. Thirteen pairs of long-distance trains run to major cities outside Guangdong Province.
Short-Distance High-Speed Train Service
Short-distance high-speed train service connects Hong Kong West Kowloon to cities on Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Humen, Guangmingcheng, and Qingsheng. Apart from that, West Kowloon Station also departs trains to other cities inside Guangdong Province like Foshan, Shantou, Huizhou, Shanwei, and Chaoshan, etc.
Information for the most popular Guangdong regional bullet trains is below.
- Hong Kong – Shenzhen High-Speed Train: Futian Station and Shenzhen North Station
- Guangzhou – Hong Kong High-Speed Train: Futian, Shenzhen North, Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng, Guangzhou South
- Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong High-Speed Train
Long-Distance Train Service
West Kowloon operates 13 pairs of cross-border long-distance high-speed trains to 38 major cities outside Guangdong Province that link Hong Kong directly to Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Guiyang, Kunming, Zhuzhou, Shijiazhuang, Jinhua, Guilin, Zhangzhou, Chongqing, and etc.
Information about these popular long-distance high-speed trains is below.
- Hong Kong – Guilin High-Speed Train
- Hong Kong – Changsha High-Speed Train
- Hong Kong - Chongqing Trains
- Hong Kong - Xiamen Trains
Booking High-Speed Train Tickets to/from Hong Kong
Booking tickets online with a travel agency like China Highlights is the fastest and most convenient way.
Needed Documents For Booking China Train Tickets
- For foreign travelers: passport
- For travelers from Chinese mainland: Chinese ID document
- For Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan residents: Mainland Travel Pass
Hong Kong Train Ticket Booking Instructions
Train tickets from Hong Kong to Chinese mainland and vice versa can be bought at the ticket offices in Hong Kong West Kowloon Station. If you have made ticket reservations online, you can check in with E-ticket.
West Kowloon's ticket offices' working hours are from 06:00 to 23:00. Ticket purchasing and collection stop 45 minutes before the train's departure time.
When buying train tickets at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, cash (Hong Kong dollar and Renminbi), credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and JCB), China Mainland Bank Cards, Octopus, Google Pay, Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, Huawei Pay, Samsung Pay, and Alipay are accepted.
Co-Location Arrangement for Immigration
West Kowloon Station has the Hong Kong Port Area and Mainland Port Area on B2 and B3 floors, respectively. Passengers traveling between Hong Kong and Chinese mainland by high-speed trains can go through the adjacent entry and exit immigration. This new arrangement saves a lot of time and hassle.
China Bound Station Arrival, Getting Tickets, Immigration, Customs, and Boarding Procedures
The ticket purchasing office for China-bound trains is in the Ticket Hall on level B1. Travelers can purchase E-tickets and use their passport pass through the ticket examinations and security scanner checks, then go down to the Departure Hall on level B3 via the escalators.
On B3, first, go through Hong Kong Immigration Departure Clearance, have your passport checked, and then pass through the Customs clearance area, walk down a long corridor, and walk into the China Immigration Check Point where you'll wait in line for a visa and passport checking. Then you go through the Customs Procedures area and then wait for the gates to the train platform to open.
Once opened, departing passengers should go down to the B4 Platform on the escalators, and then find and enter their passenger car as indicated on their ticket.
Hong Kong Bound Disembarkation, Immigration, Customs, and Exit Procedures
The passengers who are arriving will disembark their trains at the B4 Platform. Go up to level B2 via the escalators, and then undergo passport checking at the Mainland Departure Clearance area. Go through the adjacent China Customs area and walk down the passageway. At Hong Kong Immigration, they will check your passport and visa status. Undergo the Hong Kong Quarantine check, if any, pass through Hong Kong Customs, and then have your E-ticket checked before exiting the station.
Public Transportation to/from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is part of the Kowloon travel hub that includes Austin Station and Kowloon Station. It enjoys favorable public transportation and has easy access to other parts of the city. West Kowloon Station is adjacent to MTR Austin and Kowloon stations. The West Kowloon Transport Bus Terminus is set up on the ground floor, providing extensive local public bus routes and long-distance coach service.
The following three ways of transportation conveniently get you to and from West Kowloon Station.
Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR)
Through the footbridges on the first floor above the ground and underground pedestrian tunnels, a 2-3 minutes' walk can get you from West Kowloon Station to MTR Austin Station, and a 10-12 minutes walk to MTR Kowloon Station, which allows a fast transfer between the high-speed railway and subway.
Through the MTR, you can easily transit from the West Kowloon Station to other regions of Hong Kong:
- Tung Chung Line: from MTR Kowloon Station to Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island.
- Airport Express: from MTR Kowloon Station to Hong Kong Airport and Hong Kong Island.
- West Rail Line: from MTR Austin Station to Tsuen Wan and Hung Hom Railway Station; West Rail Line interacts with Tsuen Wan Line which can transfer you to Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay.
For information about suggested touring routes using the MTR for transportation, see Touring Hong Kong by MTR Subway and Tram.
Public Bus from/to Hong Kong West Kowloon
There are over 40 bus routes from West Kowloon Bus Terminus to various regions of Hong Kong, some of them are W1, W2, W3, 36X, 36B, 42A, 46, 60X, 63X, 69X, 81, 95, 268X and 271.
Taxi stands are available in the pick-up area on the B2 floor, and the drop-off area on the B1 ground floor. The local taxi service is of comparatively good quality and can take you to Tsim Sha Tsui within two minutes.
Kowloon West to/from Hong Kong International Airport
At present, we suggest these two ways for rapid public transit. Quicker bus routes will probably open in the future.
By MTR subway: Take the Airport Express train to Kowloon Station, take the C1 Exit, and then enter the station via the footbridge or underpass. The travel time is about 25 minutes, and the ticket price is about 100 HKD or 13 USD for a single trip.
By airport bus: Take bus A12 to the Western Harbour Crossing Toll Plaza, and then walk to the nearby Austin Road West to take bus 215X to get there. The duration is about 45 minutes, and the ticket price is about 50 HKD or 7.40 USD.
Tourist Attractions around West Kowloon Station
West Kowloon Station is about 6 minutes via MTR from the well-known Tsim Sha Tsui attractions including Harbour City Mall, the Avenue of Stars, the Star Ferry, the Symphony of Lights, Nathan Road, and lots of other popular places near Victoria Harbour.
Recommended scenic walking route: Instead of walking along tunnels to take the MTR, a scenic 20-minute or so walk will put you on Nathan Road near Kowloon Park, and you can walk down to the Victoria Harbor front.
Exit the West Kowloon Station, and walk east on Austin Road, and enter Kowloon Park. Then walk out onto Nathan Road, and walk down Nathan Road.
Right around the station, there is the ICC Tower and Elements Mall, and the new Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Here are suggested touring plans for Hong Kong to help you save time as you see the best in Hong Kong according to your price budget.
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