Plans have been laid out for high-speed maglev train tracks, designed to accommodate speeds of 650 kilometers per hour, to connect Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, with Shenzhen and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
All four rail lines will start at railway stations in Guangzhou's downtown area and could later be extended north to Baiyun International Airport, one of the country's aviation hubs, and south to Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Candidate stations for stops on the maglev lines include Guancheng and Humen in Dongguan, Qianhai and Xiangmihu in Shenzhen and Nansha and Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou.
Chen Xiangsheng, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said, in line with the requirements of high-quality economic development and the construction of a world-class bay area, it is necessary to achieve convenient, efficient, safe and economical transportation to support the construction of Guangdong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Chen made his remarks at the 36th Guangzhou Academicians Forum in the southern metropolis over the weekend.
The main axis of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong is located in a knowledge-intensive industrial corridor that has the most developed economy and the highest population concentration in the GBA.
However, Guangdong's transportation development has some problems and challenges, including an unclear integration strategy, high demand and severe urban congestion, said Chen, who is also dean of the College of Civil and Transportation Engineering at Shenzhen University.
The integration and convenience of transportation and services need to be significantly improved, he said.
"In 2017, passenger-flow density in the area reached 109.63 million people, which is a level almost at maximum capacity. By 2035, the passenger flow density on the main axis of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong will rise to 260 million people, with a capacity gap of about 40 million people," said Chen.
"Therefore, a new high-speed project is needed to meet the transportation needs of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong," he said.
The passenger-flow connections between the urban centers of the other eight cities in the GBA also require high-speed channels to address the issue of unbalanced and insufficient development, Chen said.
But Chen said whether the plans will be implemented is not yet known and construction is still waiting on a green light from authorities.