An intercity rail link connecting Hong Kong and Shenzhen airports is expected to cost nearly 52 billion yuan (HK$59 billion) to shorten the travelling time from an hour to 24 minutes, Shenzhen authorities said yesterday. Shenzhen officials said in a study expected to be given to Hong Kong next month that the rail link was 'feasible and would benefit the two neighbouring cities as part of efforts to cement the integration of them'. The proposed 41km line would have four stops - both airports, Hung Shui Kiu in Yuen Long and Qianhai in Shekou, Shenzhen - the feasibility study said. It said checkpoints would be provided for cross-border travellers, and passengers could check in their luggage before boarding the train. Hong Kong is expected to pay 41 billion yuan, 80 per cent of the total construction fees, for the 16km line in its jurisdiction, while Shenzhen will pay about 10 billion yuan for about 25km. Trains would run every three minutes, carrying 35,000 passengers an hour, said Li Xiaoyi , vice-director of the Shenzhen Rail Transit Construction Headquarters Office. Shenzhen authorities said the planned intercity railway could provide a link between Hong Kong airport's frequent international flights and Shenzhen airport's domestic flights. Shenzhen launched a feasibility study on airport rail links at the end of 2007, and its planning bureau earlier proposed that the railway should be 30km long and cut travelling time between the two cities to 17 minutes. Shenzhen Mayor Xu Zongheng said earlier that construction of the line would not start until 2011.