The ticketing system for the high-speed rail station encountered a problem on Wednesday, with some tickets being sold manually and written out by hand.

MTRC Chief of Operating Francis Li told reporters that the problem occurred at 8:25am at the new West Kowloon Terminal.

The problem was resolved and the system returned to normal at around 10:30am.

West Kowloon high-speed rail ticketing failure

“Because there is a problem with the Ticketing System, the operation of some facilities and equipment at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is affected,” the MTR Corporation said in an announcement at 9:12am. “Staff are handling the situation.”

When the problem was announced, passengers could not buy or take their tickets from ticketing machines at the West Kowloon terminus. A long queue was formed at the station as a result.

West Kowloon high-speed rail ticketing failure

A passenger, Mr Wu, told Apple Daily that he bought a ticket to Shenzhen North last night, but was given a hand-written ticket on Wednesday morning when he arrived at West Kowloon.

A line on the hand-written ticket read: “Transferring passengers without tickets due to system failure.”

West Kowloon high-speed rail ticketing failure

The MTRC said at 10:15am that the system was still being repaired but passengers were able to collect pre-booked tickets.

The system was able to generate tickets for passengers travelling to Shenzhen North and Futian within the upcoming two hours, but hand-written tickets were given to passengers travelling to other destinations.

West Kowloon high-speed rail ticketing failure

The MTRC said at 10:30am that the system was fixed.

Francis Li said there was no sign of hacking: “We will follow up with relevant departments in the mainland to see how we can improve,” he said.

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.