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Quick Guide on Train Travel in China
China train system boasts over 124,000 km (77,000 mi) long railway, including the world's largest high speed train network connecting more than 500 cities across the country, and the highest speed can reach 350 km/h (217 mph). To plan a budget, convenient and safe travel, China train is your best choice. Start to search the timetable and book your tickets now!
- High Speed Trains The 22,000 km's (13,600 mi) high speed rail enables more than 2,300 pairs of daily bullet trains in operation, connecting almost every large city and top tourist destinations.
- First Class Seat vs. Second Class Seat First class carriage has four seats in a row while second class carriage has five, hence a first class seat is bigger and more comfortable. But its ticket price is 20%-40% higher than that of a second class seat.
- How to buy tickets Two methods: book with an online agency as early as possible to ensure the best seat/berth; purchase at a railway station with your original passport at most 28 days in advance.
- How to collect tickets Two ways: deliver to a hotel you reserved in China; pick up by yourself at a railway station with your original passport and pickup number.
- How to read a China train ticket Here are clear samples and explanations teaching passengers how to read the information on a ticket, including the station names and departure time.
- How to take a train in China Arrive at the right station an hour before departure, go through the security check, find your waiting room, and then wait for the check-in.
- What to do if refund, change or lose a ticket Tickets can be refunded or changed both before and after issuing, while a lost one can only be refunded after the journey.
- Weight & size limit for carry-on luggage 20 kg (44 pounds) per adult and 10 kg (22 pounds) per child, with the total length of each item within 130cm (51 in).
Best China Train Travel Routes:
- Beijing-Shanghai: 4.5 - 6 hours
- Beijing-Tianjin: 35 - 50 minutes
- Beijing-Xian: 5 - 6 hours
- Beijing-Guangzhou: 8 - 10 hours
- Shanghai-Guangzhou: 7 - 8.5 hours
- Shanghai-Hangzhou: 1 hour
- Shanghai-Suzhou: 23 - 44 minutes
- Guangzhou-Guilin: 2.5 hours
- Guangzhou-Hong Kong: 2 hours
- Guangzhou-Shenzhen: 30 minutes
- Xian-Shanghai: 6 - 7.5 hours
- Xian-Chengdu: 12 - 17 hours
China Railway Corporation Launched Seat Selection Function for High Speed Trains
As of October 12, 2017, passengers can select seat when booking high speed train tickets from 12306.cn, the official website of China Railway Corporation. It means they can now decide which seat to take, whether it's beside the window or the aisle, though the carriage and row numbers are still subject to random allocation. This function is promising to win popularity among travelers, especially for those who travel in a group with families and friends.
Since the official website does not have an English version, foreign passengers may still need to seek help from an agency. TravelChinaGuide will try our best to book a ticket for customers to satisfy your needs to the largest degree.
Double Security Checks Required for Trains Bound for Beijing since October 9, 2017
From October 9 to October 31, 2017, passengers taking trains for Beijing need to undergo double security checks, namely, a regular one before entering railway stations and an additional one at waiting halls.
During the second security check, all luggage will be opened for manual examination, which is time-consuming. Therefore, for passengers heading for Beijing during this period, it's advised to arrive at railway stations at least two hours before scheduled departure time on your ticket.