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China High Speed Train (Bullet Train)

China high speed trains, also known as bullet or fast trains, can reach a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph).

Over 2,800 pairs of bullet trains numbered by G, D or C run daily connecting over 550 cities in China and covering 33 of the country's 34 provinces. Beijing-Shanghai high speed train link the two megacities 1,318 km (819 mi) away in just 4.5 hours.

By 2018, China keeps the world's largest high speed rail (HSR) network with a length totaling over 29,000 km (18,000 mi). The world's longest HSR line, Beijing - Hong Kong High Speed Railway, extends 2,440 km (1,516 mi).

Top China High Speed Train Travel Routes:

Why travel by high speed trains?

1. Fast:

The present operational speed of China trains high speed type is 200-350 km/h (124-217 mph), greatly shortening the travel time. The duration from Beijing to Shanghai has been shortened from 15 hours to about 4.5 hours.

2. Punctual:

Different from flights, they are less influenced by weather or traffic control, hence able to arrive on time.

3. Convenient:

HSR trains are scheduled more frequently than normal ones and many of the high speed railway stations are reachable by subway, making a rail journey much more convenient than before.

4. Reasonablely priced:

Although China high speed train tickets generally cost more than a non-bullet train ticket, it is still cheaper than a flight ticket most of the time. From Beijing to Shanghai, a soft sleeper non-bullet rail ticket costs around CNY500, a second class seat China high speed rail ticket costs around CNY550, while the full airfare of an economy class is over CNY1,000.

5. Comfortable:

The carriages are much better equipped than the old-generation carriages, and rival the facilities of an airplane. The seats are wider and softer, the windows are bigger, and the washrooms are cleaner…

6. Safe:

The fast trains are operated by advanced technological communication systems to ensure passengers' safety to the uttermost.

Tickets on bullet trains are generally divided into four types - second class seat, first class seat, business class seat, and VIP seat. On a few overnight D trains, sleepers are provided, and sometimes standing room tickets are available when all seats are sold out. On some short inter-city HSR lines, China Rail Pass is available, which is a prepaid card for self-service check-in at a railway station.
Second Class Seat First Class Seat
Business Class Seat Seats Difference

China High Speed Train Types

The types mainly include the popularized Hexiehao and the new type Fuxinghao. 

Hexiehao (CRH)  Fuxinghao (CR)
Top Speed 300 km/h (186 mph) 300-350 km/h (186-217 mph)
Appearance Silver or white with blue belt Silver with red belt, or white with golden belt
Space 370 cm high; narrower legroom 405 cm high; wider legroom
Electrical Socket Standard type under the seats Standard and USB types beside the seats
Wifi Partially available Available on all
Types in Service CRH380A, CRH380B, CRH2, CRH3C… numbered by G, D or C CR400AF & CR400BF numbered by G or C

Facilities on these highballs are of high standard, similar to those on an airplane. The seats can be rotated towards the moving direction; the seatback can be adjusted to a wanted angle; each passenger is offered a foldable small table; electrical sockets are available; and it is even possible to use Wi-Fi.

More High Speed Railway Maps

Since the earliest high speed rail line, Beijing - Tianjin Inter-City High Speed Rail Line opened in 2008, China has developed a dense high speed railway network reaching 29,000 km (18,000 mi), accounting for 2/3 of the world's high-speed rail tracks.

There are mainly four north-south and four east-west trunk lines, and some inter-city lines, greatly shortening the travel time within China.

According to the plan, the high speed rail will reach 30,000 km (18,600 mi) by 2020 and 38,000 km (23,600 mi) by 2025. The network will include eight north-south and eight east-west trunk lines, linking all the big and medium-sized cities with a population of 500,000.

Major High Speed Rail Lines

Line Open Date Length (km) Speed (km/h)
300 - 350
Beijing-Guangzhou 2012/12/26 2,298 200 - 300
Beijing-Xi'an 2012/12/26 1,216 250 - 300
Shanghai-Guangzhou 2014/12/10 1,647 250 - 300
Shanghai-Kunming 2016/12/28 2,252 300 - 300
Xi'an-Shanghai 2016/9/10 1,509 250 - 300
Xi'an-Chengdu 2017/9/30 643 250

Inter-city High Speed Trains

Line Open Date Length (km) Speed (km/h)
Beijing-Tianjin 2008/08/01 119 300
Guangzhou-Zhuhai 2012/12/31 117 200
Guangzhou-Shenzhen 2011/12/26 116 300
Shanghai-Nanjing 2010/07/01 301 300
Nanjing-Hangzhou 2013/07/01 249 300

Currently, 16 countries and regions worldwide have bullet trains running on their land, including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and United Kingdom. The total length has reached 38,000 km (23,600 mi) and the speed varies from 200 km/h (124 mph) to 350 km/h (217 mph). China high speed train tickets are the lowest among all. 

 See Also:

High Speed Era in China Railway History  

Overnight Trains

China Train Travel - A Beginner’s Guide

- Last modified on Mar. 10, 2019 -
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    When arriving by train to that particular station, ALL arriving passengers are directed by tunnels to the EXITS only, not to the departure hall. These underground tunnels DO NOT have information about airport busses, taxis, or other long term bus transit. Access to the departure hall is forbidden, unless you have a train ticket for that particular day, leaving from that station. In the Shenyang arrival tunnel system, there are no signs for the airport bus, or long distance buses, but I was fortunately met by a taxi driver, at random, who took me to Shenyang airport for 200 Yuan. Train stations within China are developing systems first started by international airports, to keep arriving passengers away from departing passengers. Train stations in the West are not designed this way, and allow arriving passengers and departing passengers access to the same "train station" hall. China does things very differently. Please ask the Chinese Rail managers to put more direction signs and helpers for non-rail transportation for the travelers arriving by train.
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