Hongkonger misses train on China’s new high-speed rail link thanks to slow-talking reporter

Businessman left on platform after agreeing to be interviewed for live television broadcast of new service

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2018, 7:07pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2018, 7:07pm

A man who missed out on the chance to ride the very first high-speed train from Hunan province in central China to Hong Kong on Sunday because he was being interviewed for a live television broadcast says he has no regrets and does not blame the reporter who waylaid him.

Lin Zutao – as his name was given by Changsha TV, which conducted the interview – runs a food manufacturing company in Changsha, Hunan and was returning home to Hong Kong to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday with his family. He had bought a ticket for the G6113 Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link service, which was set to depart Changsha Nan Station at 7.45am.

Watch as businessman misses his bullet train

Lin’s troubles began when he was approached by a news reporter who was making a film about the new service from the platform. The journalist asked Lin if he would be prepared to be interviewed on camera, and he agreed.

However, the reporter took so long to deliver the piece that by the time it was over, the train was preparing to pull out and all the doors had closed.

Luggage and ticket confusion as Hong Kong's high-speed rail service to mainland China opens

As the moments ticked away, Lin could be heard asking the reporter if he could leave.

“Can’t I get on the train now?” he is heard saying in the broadcast footage.

The reporter confidently, but mistakenly, replies by saying: “You can, let’s just talk with [the guard] there.”

The guard, however, had other ideas and told Lin that as the train doors had closed he could not board. Lin was left with no choice but to stand on the platform and watch the train pull away.

Despite the inconvenience he suffered, Lin was magnanimous about the unfortunate turn of events.

In an online video published later by the television station, he said: “I told him [the reporter] that it didn’t matter and hoped he would not get in trouble with his manager.

“He told me the time of the interview, it was my fault I was late and missed the train.”

Lin even said that he and the reporter struck up a friendship as they travelled back to Hong Kong on a later bullet train, the ticket for which was paid for by the television station.

He said he was also pleased with how quickly he got home thanks to the new high-speed service.

“The journey was much faster than before,” he said. “Before [the high-speed rail link opened], it took five to six hours to get to Hong Kong [from Changsha], and now it takes only 3½.”