Passengers can save more than a quarter of the ticket price for a high-speed rail train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou South if they buy multiple tickets for two or more separate legs of the same trip, instead of buying one direct train ticket.

On Wednesday, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said that it was “impossible” to buy separate tickets for two or more separate legs of the same train ride. He said passengers may be able to buy two separate tickets – for instance, Hong Kong to Shenzhen North, then Shenzhen North to Beijing – but they must change trains in between.

But a report from news channel Now TV said it was possible to buy a ticket from Hong Kong to Shenzhen North, and then another ticket from Shenzhen North to Guangzhou South – both on the same train – and save HK$65.

Photo: Now TV screenshot.

Reporters at the channel bought a ticket from Hong Kong to Shenzhen North at the West Kowloon terminus on the first day of ticket sales on Monday. They used the ticket booths for trains arriving in or departing from Hong Kong.

Days later, reporters returned to the station and – using ticket booths for mainland section trains next to the Hong Kong ticket booths – successfully bought a ticket from Shenzhen North to Guangzhou South on the same train.

Staff members confirmed the tickets were valid and said the passengers would only have to change seats after Shenzhen North.

Housing and Transport Secretary Frank Chan. Photo:

The direct train ticket from West Kowloon to Guangzhou South would cost HK$247, but the total price for the two separate tickets was only HK$182, including a transaction fee for the mainland section ticket.

In response, the MTR Corporation said it was the rule that passengers cannot buy more than one ticket for the same train on any day, including separate tickets for different legs of the same train.

But it said it has noticed that there was room to improve in linking up the Hong Kong and mainland ticketing systems. The MTRC said it was following up with mainland authorities on the matter.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.