Hong Kong opened its first bullet train link Saturday, which connects the territory with mainland China.
The 26-kilometer line is the latest section to China’s 25,000-kilometer high-speed rail network called the Express Rail Link and cost over $10.7 billion to build, according to CNN and Reuters.
The new high-speed railway will travel at 200 kph (or 120 mph) to 44 destinations in the mainland and is expected to see an estimated 70 to 82 trains pass through Hong Kong’s new West Kowloon station daily.
BBC News reports that government officials say the rail link will boost businesses in Hong Kong, while critics say allowing Chinese authorities to operate on the trains violates Hong Kong’s freedoms.
This marks the first time Chinese criminal law will be enforced in Hong Kong territory, according to the news site.
Controversy aside, the railway will offer travelers a speedy way to get to the mainland that doesn’t involve airport commutes or flight delays. Travelers must still arrive early, however, to go through security and immigration.
According to the news sites, the railway takes 40 minutes to go from Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and nine hours from Hong Kong to Beijing, which is the longest route, costing around $157.
Tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone and online.
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