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Overnight Trains in China

Overnight trains are good choices for long-distance passengers to save daytime and hotel expense, especially those departing in the evening and arriving in the next morning. When taking an overnight train, sleepers are recommended to ensure a good rest, so one can work or go sightseeing energetically when getting off. Currently, 4 types of sleepers are offered on overnight trains in China: deluxe soft sleepers, soft sleepers, hard sleepers and new type soft sleepers.

Why travel by overnight trains in China?

Passengers can save the cost of a night at hotel, and save the daytime to work or go sightseeing. If you are planning to have a long-distance trip in China, overnight trains can be a cost-effective and time-saving transportation method.

Sleepers are recommended when taking an overnight train.

Passengers Getting on an Overnight Train
Passengers Getting on an Overnight Train

However, sitting for a whole night on a seat can be really uncomfortable, and we recommend passengers to book a sleeper ticket, so they can lie down to have a good sleep and be energetic to deal with their business or travel around when getting off. Currently, 4 types of sleepers can be found on Chinese overnight trains: soft sleepers, hard sleepers, new type soft sleepers and deluxe soft sleepers.

4 Types of Sleepers on Chinese Overnight Trains

Soft Sleepers - 4 Berths in a Compartment with Lockable Door

Soft sleepers are very common on overnight trains. They are in the private compartment with lockable doors. There are 4 berths in each compartment. On high speed trains, each berth has a power socket and a reading light; while in normal speed trains, there is one power socket shared by the passengers in the compartment, but you can find other charging points in the corridor.

Soft sleepers are good choices for family trips with children or groups of friends.

Soft Sleepers
Aisle in the Soft Sleeper Carriage
Soft Sleeper
A Soft Sleeper Cabin

Hard Sleepers - 6 Berths in an Open Compartment

Hard sleepers are the cheapest sleepers, usually half the price of a soft sleeper ticket. They are only available on normal speed trains. There are 6 berths in an open compartment. There are more passengers in hard sleeper carriage than other sleeper carriages, so the space for each passenger is smaller. And the environment is relatively noisy, because there is no door. Two power sockets are at the two ends of the carriage along the aisle.

If you have limited travel budget or failed to get other tickets, hard sleepers can be an option.

Hard Sleeper
Hard Sleeper Carriage
Hard Sleeper
6 Berths in a Hard Sleeper Cabin

New Type Sleepers - Berths Parallel to Running Direction

They can only be seen on high speed trains D311 and D312 running for Beijing - Shanghai route. The ticket price of this type is higher than hard sleepers, but a little bit lower than traditional type soft sleepers. They are arranged parallel to the running direction; and each berth has a shade curtain for privacy. There is a small table and a charging socket on each berth. And there is a window for each passenger. Passengers can also read books or do some other work by the reading lamp on each berth when the lights of the carriage are out.

Deluxe Soft Sleepers - 2 Berths in a Cabin with Lockable Door

Deluxe soft sleepers are the most expensive and comfortable sleepers. The prices are normally twice the price of a soft sleeper. They are not so frequently seen. It is in a compartment with a lockable door. Each compartment has 2 berths, a table, a sofa and a private washroom with a western style toilet in it. And there is one power socket in the compartment.

This type of sleeper is recommended to businessmen, couples and 2 friends traveling together who have adequate travel budget and high demand of travel experience.

Deluxe Soft Sleepers
A Deluxe Soft Sleeper Cabin
Deluxe Soft Sleepers
Independent Washroom Inside

10 Tips on Taking Overnight Trains in China

1. Lower berths are more suitable for passengers who are aged or have knee problems or backache.

2. On some trains, the staff will switch your ticket into a plastic card after you get onboard and they will switch them back when you are about to get off.

3. A pillow, sheet and a quilt will be provided on each berth.

4. If you have a lot of luggage, get onboard earlier to settle down your luggage on the luggage rack or under the lower berth. If you found there is no enough room, ask help from the railway staff.

5. Washrooms are at the end of each carriage except in the deluxe soft sleeper carriages. It is better to bring your own toilet paper and wet wipes, because they may not be provided on some trains.

6. Water places are also located at the end of the carriage; you can fetch boiled water there with your own bottle. Water from other taps is undrinkable.

7. There are sinks for washing purpose at the connection part of each carriage. You also need to pack your washing supplies like towel and toothbrush.

8. 07:00 - 08:30 and 21:00 - 22:30 are the rush hours of using toilet and washroom. You’d better avoid these periods.

9. If you are a light sleeper, an eye mask and earplugs can help you sleep better.

10. Download some music and movies before the trip or bring a book with you to kill time.

Soft Sleepers on Chinese Overnight Train
Luggage Space Under Lower Berth
Washing Basins
Washing Basins between Two Carriages
- Last updated on Aug. 29, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Overnight Trains in China
Asked by Bryan Lee from SINGAPORE | Jan. 15, 2020 20:11Reply
Deluxe Soft Sleeper on Z19
I will be taking the Z19 overnight train from BJ to Xi'an and can anyone advise if the train is shaky and giddy as I have motion sickness.

Thank you
Answers (2)
Answered by Jackson | Jan. 16, 2020 01:55

A little bit, when you lie down on the bed, you can definitely feel its moving. For me it is not a problem. Not sure if it works for you or not. If you are worried about it, maybe high speed train is better. It is very smooth even under a high speed.
Answered by Michael | Feb. 18, 2022 23:59

Hello, i took this train a few years ago, it was one of the best nights sleep i had the whole trip.
Asked by Nikita from MALAYSIA | Dec. 22, 2019 23:38Reply
Beijing To Luoyang
Can I take over night train from Luoyang (Shaolin Temple) to Beijing? Where can I check the fee? Thank you.
Answers (2)
Answered by Pamela | Dec. 23, 2019 01:49

You can check the price on the main page with your departure city and arrival city. The price should be from USD15 to USD48 per person. As I know, the Shaolin Temple is still some way from Luoyang. You need other bus to reach Luoyang first from there.
Answered by Nikita from MALAYSIA | Dec. 23, 2019 16:23

Thank you.
Asked by Yu Yang Zhang from UNITED STATES | Nov. 10, 2019 16:00Reply
4 people traveling together
If 4 people are traveling together can they get the same room if we book sleeper on speed train. how do we tell what kind of sleeper
Answers (1)
Answered by Larissa | Nov. 11, 2019 03:34

First of all, you need to decide which class you want to use. Deluxe soft sleeper is for 2 people, soft sleeper is for 4 people and hard sleeper is for 6 people. You need to choose this class when you book tickets. You can leave a remark of your request to be together in same room, usually it is fine to get that.
Asked by Lourensia Kruger from SOUTH AFRICA | Sep. 28, 2019 07:52Reply
Do you get food on a sleeper train?
Answers (1)
Answered by Paulina from USA | Sep. 28, 2019 20:16

There is no food included in ticket price, but usually you can find snacks for sale. If your travel date meet dinner time, there could be meal for sale.
Asked by Lanny from SERBIA | Jul. 21, 2019 07:31Reply
Hello is it allowed to take perfume in the train?
Answers (2)
Answered by Harriet | Jul. 22, 2019 02:35

This is very risky. It can a problem at some station strict with security check. It is not recommended to have it as luggage.
Answered by mm.alhoraibigmail.com from SAUDI ARABIA | Aug. 03, 2019 21:27

rwhy ferfume is risky and couse me problems all passengers using and carrying there own perfume
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