The "Longest Metro" in China! 4 GBA intercity railways connect 5 cities in one hour

Editor︰Huang Yayan

The "GBA on the Rail" is entering a new era!

The Guangzhou-Foshan South Ring and Foshan-Dongguan Intercity railways, which connect with the existing Foshan-Zhaoqing and Dongguan-Huizhou intercity railways, form a 258-kilometre railway corridor that serves as a vital east-west artery.

It connects 5 major cities of Huizhou, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Foshan, and Zhaoqing in Greater Bay Area, making it the "Longest Metro" in China!

Here are the 5 main features that may help you understand more about it.

Connecting 5 cities in only one hour

The longest intercity railway lines in the Greater Bay Area
After the integration of the four intercity railway lines, it forms a major transportation artery running east-west in the GBA. (Image Source: VCG)

The diagram above shows the whole map after the integration of the 4 main GBA rail lines into one big railway system.

As you can see the colour shown in the map, the yellow one indicates the Guangzhou-Foshan South Ring (Foshan West Station-Panyu Station); the red one marks Foshan-Dongguan Intercity (Panyu Station-Dongguan West Station); the blue one shows Foshan-Zhaoqing (Foshan West Station-Zhaoqing Station), and the green one represents Dongguan-Huizhou (Dongguan West Station-Xiaojinkou Station).

The total length of it is 258-kilometre, with a maximum train speed of 200 km per hour.

Now, passengers who depart from Panyu Station of Guangzhou could reach Foshan and Dongguan in 30 minutes, and Zhaoqing and Huizhou in 60 minutes, which makes travelling in GBA in an hour possible. 

China's biggest intercity railway station: Panyu Station

The longest intercity railway lines in the Greater Bay Area
The scale of Panyu Station is nearly equivalent to 11 standard subway stations. (Image Source: VCG)

In the map above, you may see there are 7 major transfer stations for railways and metros, namely Zhaoqing Station, Panyu Station, Dinghu East Station, Foshan West Station, Dongguan West Station, Changping East Station, and Xiaojinkou Station.

Among them, Panyu Station located in Guangzhou is the biggest one. It lies in the intersection of the Guangzhou-Foshan South Ring and Foshan-Dongguan Intercity lines and serves as the central hub.

The station is 1,194 metres long, with a total construction area of 116,000 square metres. It is equivalent to about 11 standard metro stations, making it the biggest "one-island, two-sided" underground station of intercity rail in China.

Only one security check is required

At past, passengers need to do two security checks separately when travelling through the railways and metro systems. But now, only one security check is required.

This is because the "security check mutual recognition" policy is adopted. Passengers who switch to railway lines at Foshan West Station and Dongguan West Station need no more additional security check.

For those who need to exit the station first then switch to the railway lines, particular at Zhaoqing Station, Panyu Station, Dinghuxi Station, Changping East Station, and Xiaojinkou Station, also have to go through one security check only.

The mutual recognition of security checks sets the example for the future integration of transportation.

If you want to switch from railways to the metros, there are clear direction in the station. Only for some stations like Zhangcha Station, Beijiao West Station, Chencun Station, and Guangzhou Changlong Station, you need to exit first before transferring to another station.

There are also stations connecting to metro lines of other cities, such as Foshan Metro, Guangzhou Metro, Dongguan Metro, and Guangzhou-Foshan Line.

Operating like metro system: "Stop at every station + express service"

The longest intercity railway lines in the Greater Bay Area
灣區最長城際

Another feature is the adoption of "stop-at-every-station + express service" operation model.

What are they? Just like taking a MTR in Hong Kong, the train will stop at every station to let passengers on and off, making the intercity railways "stop-at-every-station".  

The "express service" means a faster express station set up at major stations. Panyu Station and Guangzhou Changlong Station are the two newly added express stop points, bringing the total number of express stops on the whole increased to 14.

Various transportation cards accepted with price up to CNY153 per trip

Regarding the purchase of tickets, a dual ticketing system of "12306 + intercity railway bus multi-payment" is adopted.

What is that? Passengers using the "12306" ticketing system can purchase "one-time valid for the day" ticket. Passengers can "buy as you go, depart as you arrive", just like taking metro every day.

There is no need to buy tickets in advance anymore. All you need is to go through the procedure of real-name validation and face recognition before getting on the trains.

Another great feature is that passengers can swipe their public transportation cards.

Passengers can simply scan QR codes or using public transportation cards instead of buying tickets, such as Guangzhou Metro APP intercity QR code, the China T-Union Card (全國交通一卡通), Yang Cheng Tong (羊城通), Lingnan Pass (嶺南通), Qingyuan-Lingnan Pass-Guangdatong (清遠‧嶺南通‧廣達通), Foshan-Lingnan Pass-Guangfotong (佛山‧嶺南通‧廣佛通) (including Foshan Pass (佛山通)), Zhaoqing-Lingnan Pass-Zhaoqingtong (肇慶‧嶺南通‧肇慶通) , Dongguan-Lingnan Pass-Dongguantong (東莞‧嶺南通‧東莞通) , Huizhou-Lingnan Pass-Huizhoutong (惠州‧嶺南通‧惠州通) , etc.

In a word, whenever you have the officially designated public transportation QR code or railway pass, you can take the intercity railway trains now.

Regarding the fare, the minimum fare for the Guangzhou-Zhaoqing and Guangzhou-Huizhou Intercity is 5 CNY, and the maximum fare for a single trip is 153 CNY.

Read More: Guangzhou Metro Line 11:GBA's first loop line across 5 districts 

Read More: Xin-Bai-Guang Intercity Soon Opens! Connecting Guangzhou and Shenzhen Airports in 40 Minutes 

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