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China Train Stations

China has over 5,500 railway stations for passengers use along its 131,000 kilometers (81,400 miles) long rail lines.

The early-built China train stations are usually located in the center of the city or town, operating non-bullet trains and some also operating a few bullet ones. The newly-built railway stations are generally located far from the city center and specialized in high speed trains, such as Beijing South, Shanghai Hongqiao, and Xi'an North; but they mostly can be reached by subway.

A train station in China usually consists of one or two squares and a terminal building, inside which ticket offices, waiting rooms, boarding gates, platforms and some affiliated facilities like toilets, hot drinking water, restaurants, and bilingual direction boards are provided.
 

Major Railway Stations


A Full List of China Railway Stations

Find A Station

Shanghai Railway Station

As most railway stations are among the local grandest buildings, they are quite easy to find, even for new comers. In cities and towns, when you see a building with large red or golden Chinese characters (the station’s name) on the top and a square out the front with a continuous stream of people, you have probably found it.

Usually, being a transportation hub of a city or town, a train station can be reached by bus, subway, taxi, and even coach.

One thing to note is that many cities and towns have more than one train station, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Double check the ticket and make sure you are going to the right one before setting out.

 

Facilities


 Square
A square often lies in front or at the rear part of a station, where bus stops, taxi stands, and subway and coach  are distributed in and around it. Parking lots can be found on and under ground. What’s more, there are shops, restaurants, vendors, hotels and public toilets. A square also serves as an outdoor waiting room, as it is always filled with travelers before being admitted into the building. 
 
A Station Entrance
 Station Building
Outside:
• Information Board: A huge LED screen usually hangs outside, showing the timetable and status of trains. You will find the departure time and when and whether or not you can enter the building. 

• Entrance & Exit: the entrance is usually central to the building. There will be conductors checking the tickets. A moving conveyor belt and a metal detection door are installed at the entrance for security check. The exit usually leads to the city's public transportation. Self-service check-in machines are installed at entrance and exit for ticket checking.
 
• Ticket Office: the ticket offices or booking halls can be found near the entrance. There are boards showing ticket information. Conductors seat inside windows to sell tickets. Many have self-service ticket machines, but after the real-name ticket policy has been applied, travelers can only book tickets on the machine with their second generation Chinese ID cards. E-ticket Pickup Machine is also available, which enable passengers collect their tickets that were booked online. There are also separate ticket windows for platform tickets, and these ticket windows are usually close to the entrance or exit.

• Left Luggage: The left luggage center or luggage storage hall is also near the entrance. Some provide 24-hour service. The charge is CNY 5 – 20 per day for luggage of different weights or sizes. Take Xi'an as an example, it charges CNY 5 per day for a bag not exceeding 10 kg and CNY 10 per day for a bag over 10 kg.

• Baggage check-in counters: the counters are near the entrance. If your luggage exceeds the weight or size limits, you can have your luggage consigned at the counters.

• Others: Police office, passenger service center, restaurants, and shops can also be found outside of the building.
Ticket Office, Shanghai Railway Station
Ticket Office, Shanghai Railway Station
A Waiting Room in Shanghai South Station
A Waiting Room
Inside
• LED Screens: Once inside the building you will see LED screens showing timetable and the designated waiting rooms. Look at these screens carefully to find your waiting room.

• Waiting Room: Large stations have more than one waiting room and some also have special soft sleeper, CRH waiting rooms, and mother-and-child rooms. LED boards hanging in each waiting room tell the status of a train: waiting, check-in or delay, and also the platform from which to board. A waiting room usually has several ticket wickets, where a conductor checks and punches your ticket. If there are self-service check-in machines, passengers holding blue tickets only need to insert the tickets into the machine and collect them after passing the gate. The pink ticket cannot be read by the machine. The self-service check-in machines in Beijing South, Shanghai Hongqiao and Tianjin South can also read ticket information through second generation Chinese ID card. Travelers sweep their ID cards over the machine – no paper tickets are required.

• Luggage Lockers: timed luggage lockers can be found inside the building. There are usually charged by hours and the sizes of luggage. In Beijing West, the charge for a normal-sized locker is CNY 10 for 7 hours, CNY 15 for 12 hours, CNY 25 for 24 hours, and additional CNY 10 every 12 hours after the first 24 hours; the charge for a large-sized locker is CNY 15 for 7 hours, CNY 25 for 12 hours, CNY 40 for 24 hours, and additional CNY 15 for every 12 hours after the first 24 hours.

 
Railway Station Platform
Railway Station Platform
• Others: there are also convenient facilities such as toilets, boiled drinking water, escalators to the upper floors,  inquiry counter, ATMs, lost and found center, public phones, and red cap luggage porters. Restaurants, café, shops, and book stores are also available.

 Platform
Passages and stairs connect the waiting rooms with platforms. Some have escalators but not all do. Platforms are numbered, so it is easy for you to find the right one. On platforms, there are stalls selling all kinds of snacks, beverages, magazines and newspapers. Clear signs are available showing the way out upon arrival, although most are in Chinese.

 Further Reading:
China Railway Infrastructures

- Last modified on Jun. 10, 2019 -
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    The train was clean, fast and was a pleasant experience. We met a young Chinese man who was very nice and interesting to talk to. We both enjoyed this first experience by train in China.
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    Hello, we’d like to thank you for your wonderful and caring service on train tickets.

    We had great vacations an very nice and interesting train trips.

    it was a great opportunity to contact with Chinese people and also a very nice experience.

    we love china. Beautiful and exotic places and great monuments.

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    I rate the service of booking experience through TCG booking centervery high. The response was very timely and gave a good explanation for what was needed and when. There was always very good follow-up too. I would recommend this to my friends and colleagues.

    The only suggestion I have is for maybe providing more links to the train information. What I had questions about were the luggage, traveling with children, and how the system work.

    The trip was very smooth and on-time. For the G4, with first class ticket you have an assigned seat and in Shanghai you wait on platform two, but load on platform 1.

    There is no need to rush and stand in-line since the seat is assigned. Especially helpful if you have children. Also, travle by rail is more reliable than planes when there is bad weather.
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    The booking process couldn't have been easier - easy to find which trip suited and then simple to organize. We had no problems at all. It could be slightly improved for non-Chinese speaking if you could provide address for the appropriate station in Chinese writing to give the taxi driver. Although there was no problem, I worried that we had told them the wrong station. Also directions on where to go when you reach the train station would help. The rail service is efficient and easy to use (even if you don't speak Chinese) The trip was fast and comfortable. Although there is no luggage management we were easily able to store our large suitcase in the racks overhead. ...More
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    I've been very happy with the service. The website is easy enough, the process painless. At one point there was a problem with my payment and it was good to have an English-speaker at your end to help me out.
    The booking fee feels a little steep for short journeys but I'm happy to pay it, especially when coupled with delivery services meaning I don't have to queue up at the ticket office (or get to the station extra-early in order to queue!).
    If it helps, my tips for English-speaking travelers would be the following:
    - Learn the Pinyin and pronunciation of the points of the compass (Bei, Nan, Dong, Xi) as these portions often aren't translated in station names either written or spoken (e.g. JinanXi, BeijingNan)
    - Don't always trust the 'next station' signage in the trains! It's been for the wrong train a few times, though the announcements have always been OK. If in doubt, ask an attendant.
    - If you've got a choice of station at your destination, it might be worth going for the one further outside the city centre. It's probably newer and easier to get a taxi (shorter lines). For example, Jinan station it might take 1 hour to get a taxi and a 30-minute taxi ride with traffic. JinanXi might be 10 minutes more on the train but less than 10 minutes to get a taxi and the same or faster taxi ride with less traffic.
    - BeijingNan has a second-floor waiting room for all platforms and lower "express" entries on the lower concourse; one per pair of platforms. The express entries work as their name suggests but don't have any English-language signage or announcements.
    - Qingdao station has two ticket halls, for some reason the West hall is always super-busy compared to the East. There's a bridge between the two once you get through security so choose the shorter lines!
    - On that note, Qingdao doesn't have English translations of the waiting room your train will depart from, so make sure you know and as well (or just walk between both and see which board has your train on it).

    - Queue early if you've got luggage, the racks fill up fast! it's true!
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    Ken
    Canada
    Posted on May. 21, 2019
    Quick and reliable. Excellent communication and made purchasing tickets for a foreigner much easier.
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