Hong Kong to UK by train: Day 1
Even a journey of 9000 miles must start with a first easing of the breaks. Leaving Hong Kong as the rain arrives, train T98 to Beijing, groaning like a geriatric creaking into early morning rhythm as we pull away. Within the hour we’d be in China, crossing the border at Lo Wu where the motherland would claim us. Then to Beijing and onwards for seventeen days until home.
The lights have just gone out, 10pm sharp, on the first night of the first leg of my Hong Kong to UK by train journey. I’m lit by my reading lamp on the top bunk in my compartment of six – hard-sleeper, of course. The air-con by my feet has chilled me to a hoodie-wearing, duvet-wrapped state of near-hypothermia, but we rock along into the night, deeper into China, otherwise in comfort. The snores are growing louder and more numerous outside; the breathing getting heavy. Tomorrow we’ll arrive in Beijing, 24 hours after departing, the first 1500 miles of this journey done.
Buying your Hong Kong to Beijing train ticket
When in Hong Kong, you can buy your ticket for the T98 train to Beijing from the MTR Travel Shops at Admiralty or Hung Hom MTR stations. Tickets start from $574 for a hard sleeper and $934 for soft sleeper class. Tickets can be bought up to 60 days in advance. You can check the prices on the MTR website here.
Train T98 to Beijing runs on alternate days between Hung Hom station in Kowloon and Beijing West Station. In January 2014, for example, the Hong Kong to Beijing train ran on even days i.e. Jan 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc, while the Beijing to Hong Kong train would have run on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc. The journey from Hong Kong to Beijing takes around 24 hours, departing at 15:15 and arriving at Beijing West at 14:51 the following day.
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