HKX will offer fares of €20-60 with a choice of Basic or Premium class accommodation, and passengers who register on the website will be able to select and reserve their desired seat. Tickets will be sold online, by telephone, or onboard trains.

HKX will initially operate one train per day between Monday and Wednesday, and up to three trains per day between Thursday and Sunday on its route from Hamburg Altona to Cologne Main Station via Münster, Essen, and Düsseldorf. These will include a Sunday evening HKX Midnight Express service from Cologne, which will arrive in Hamburg at 01.00 on Monday morning.

HKX will offer a Hamburg – Cologne journey time of 4h 4min, which compares favourably with the 4h 2min offered by German Rail's (DB) fastest trains. Each HKX train will be formed of five Basic-class coaches and one Premium-class vehicle.

HKX is a joint venture between Railroad Development Corporation, United States, Locomore Rail, Germany, and investor Mr Michael Schabas.