Feasibility Study on Rail Link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen Airports

Feasibility Study on Rail Link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen Airports


The Hong Kong and Mainland China governments, in conjunction with Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shenzhen Airport (SZX), jointly agreed to investigate the feasibility of having a dedicated rail link between the two airports, offering a new alternative to the bus and coach options currently available.

HKG is the leading aviation gateway to China, with passengers travelling to and from China’s neighbouring Pearl River Delta region an important and rapidly-growing sector at this airport. However, the airport is facing increasing capacity constraints as domestic and connecting passengers are also showing strong growth.

Air-Surface passengers travelling to and from the Pearl River Delta region have special requirements in that they must cross an international boundary to reach their destination. To facilitate such journeys, HKG has set up ‘bonded’ procedures where passengers are kept in a secure environment allowing them to by-pass customs and immigration processes for their onward ferry journey to the mainland. Similar procedures would be required for a rail link.


SYSTRA had previously undertaken a pre-feasibility study of the link for Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation. Following on from this, we undertook a joint study with IATA Consulting to further develop the concept.

We assessed the impacts of the link on passenger traffic at Hong Kong and Shenzhen Airports. This required the preparation of air passenger forecasts for the airports and rail patronage forecasts for the link.

We were also responsible for developing operational details including timetables and fares, as well as the secure transfer of bonded passengers to connecting flights, allowing for growth up to 2030. We integrated the rail link operations with existing infrastructure at Hong Kong and Shenzhen airports, and with existing rail operations.

The rail link was taken forward for more detailed consideration as part of Hong Kong’s wider rail development strategy.

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