Express Rail Link
The Express Rail Link is a dedicated high-speed railway that will link Hong Kong to China’s 22,000 km high-speed rail network. Upon commissioning in 2018, the line will allow passengers to reach Guangzhou South Railway Station in just 48 minutes. Farrells designed all structures along the 26 km route between the West Kowloon Terminus and the Chinese border.
There are no intermediate stations along this section, which comprises the longest tunnel in Hong Kong. However, the route is served by numerous supporting facilities, including a train maintenance and stabling depot, an Emergency Rescue Station, and ancillary buildings that house ventilation equipment and facilitate emergency access and egress.
The Emergency Rescue Station provides multiple platforms to facilitate quick disembarkation of passengers in the event of an incident, while also allowing easy access for emergency services. Evacuation is complicated by customs, immigration, and quarantine requirements. Emergency egress points incorporate secure refuge areas where evacuees can board buses to West Kowloon where they can be processed.
A common design language was developed for the various buildings, which sit on a variety of sites in both urban settings and sensitive rural areas in the New Territories. The materials palette was selected based on ease of maintenance and appropriateness to context. Green roofs and vertical greening were employed in response to the Shek Kong depot’s location within the scenic Kam Tin Valley.