The Guangdong-Hainan cross-sea rail link is expected to introduce a long-delayed passenger service as early as next month. A Ministry of Railways inspection team on Sunday finished its final evaluation of the 4.8 billion yuan project in readiness for the passenger service, said an official with the Guangdong-Hainan Railway Company, which built and operates the project. 'No specific date has been set for the start of the passenger service as we are still waiting for the results of the three-day assessment,' said the official. 'We are also yet to receive the results of an earlier evaluation by the Ministry of Communications' which administers the ferry leg of the project. The project connects Guangdong with the island province by way of a 22.5km ferry link and 345km of railway track and has to date only been used to transport cargo. The trains board ferries and will give passengers an uninterrupted journey. The two ministries will jointly decide when to open the passenger service between Hainan capital Haikou and Guangzhou. 'We expect approval to be granted soon,' Mr Li added. Mr Li said as many as 85 new train attendants were being trained by maritime authorities. 'Train attendants will act as ship attendants during the ferry service.' Meanwhile, advertising rights for the Haikou railway station and naming rights for the passenger train would be auctioned off on Saturday in the city, the Guangdong-based Information Times reported. It quoted company officials as saying the passenger service would start on October 1. The project has been under intense media criticism over huge losses and the long delay in the introduction of passenger services. The company is reportedly unable to pay interest of more than 300,000 yuan a day because it is earning only 60,000 yuan a day from transporting goods.