Asia's largest underground railway station opens in Shenzhen

A stationary high speed train is seen at Futian railway station, Asia's largest underground railway station, in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province on December 30, 2015.

GUANGZHOU - The Futian high-speed railway station opened in South China's Shenzhen city on Wednesday, marking the long-expected launch of the Asia's largest underground railway station.

The station, located in downtown Shenzhen, Guangdong province, covers a total area of 147,000 square meters -- about the size of 21 football fields. Three underground floors can provide seats for 3,000 passengers, according to Guangzhou Railway Corporation.

The station is one of seven stops planned on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

The commute time between Shenzhen and Guangzhou is now shortened to 42 to 50 minutes.

According to the train timetable, there will be 11 pairs of high-speed trains between the Futian Station and Guangzhou South Station each day from Wednesday to Jan 9. Another 12 round trips will be added to the schedule every day starting Jan 10.

Tickets from Futian to Guangzhou South sell for 82 yuan (HK$98) and 108 yuan (HK$129) for second-class and first-class cabins, respectively.

Xue Weihe, a local railway official, said the daily passenger flow through the station is expected to be 10,000 on average during the initial period.

The express rail link, when fully completed, will slash travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to about one hour. Meanwhile, residents in Shenzhen can reach Hong Kong in 15 minutes.

The Hong Kong section of the link will not come into operation until the third quarter of 2018 at the earliest.