Hong Kong’s $8.6bn Railway Faces Opposition

11 January 2010 (Last Updated January 11th, 2010 18:30)

Hong Kong's HK$66.9bn ($8.6bn) railway project to connect to mainland China's high-speed rail network has run into opposition with activists who believe the project is too costly. Hundreds of activists surrounded government offices at the weekend as lawmakers met transport officials to

Hong Kong's HK$66.9bn ($8.6bn) railway project to connect to mainland China's high-speed rail network has run into opposition with activists who believe the project is too costly.

Hundreds of activists surrounded government offices at the weekend as lawmakers met transport officials to decide on approving funding for the project, and filibustered the vote.

The government-backed project aims to build a rail link from Hong Kong to the Chinese city of Guangzhou and is estimated to cost nearly $530m for each mile.

The railway is expected to allow people to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou through Shenzhen in 48mins, just under half the current duration of the journey, carrying an estimated 99,000 passengers daily by 2016.

According to the schedule the funding should have been approved by now for the construction to have begun last year and finish in 2015.

The protesters are now planning a second showdown this week.