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China is now known to have the world’s vastest and fastest train network. Being possibly the most economic means of travel, train is flavored domestically and it is still highly likely to encounter ticket shortage during important festivals and national holidays. That being said, the railway system is not necessarily friendly to foreigners. Here are some articles that would help you understand what to expect for booking trains in China:
Choose between high-speed and ordinary trains.
When you read a ticket, please pay attention to the Chinese character and pinyin after a place name. Directions: north, south, east, and west are printed in pinyin on tickets instead of English, respectively Bei, Nan, Dong, and Xi. For example Beijing South Railway Station will be printed as Beijing Nan () on a ticket (see the second ticket below), Beijing East is showed as Beijing Dong (), Beijing West (Beijing Xi, ), and Beijing North (Beijing Bei, ). Please make sure you are going to the correct train station. How to Read a Train Ticket?
Taking a train in China is very different from in western countries. The article below may help make your journey smoother and more convenient.
Meal ordering service for train journey
Published on July 18th, 2017
From July 17th, passengers taking a bullet train (D/G category train) can order a meal for their train journey online. Food can be ordered on the China rail's official website 12306.cn and app. The conductor will send the food you ordered to your seat. Currently, the service is available for 27 main bullet train stations in China.
China's New Type of Sleeper Class on High-Speed Trains
Published on July 14th, 2017
China’s new soft sleeper cars have made appearance on overnight bullet trains D311&D312 between Beijing and Shanghai. Compare to the old-style soft sleeper, the new type of sleeper class is more comfortable and provides more privacy. Double-decker berths on both sides of the hallway are parallel to the running direction. Each berth is a private compartment, with facilities like small table, reading light, power socket and coat and hat hooks, etc.
China's new high-speed train Fuxing Hao started running on June 26th!
Published on June 27th, 2017
Two new high-speed trains (Fuxing Hao): G123 Beijing South - Shanghai Hongqiao and G124 Shanghai Hongqiao - Beijing South started running on June 26th, with a maximum speed of 400 km/h (250 mph). Fuxing Hao high-speed trains are faster, safer and more comfortable than Hexie Hao high-speed trains. The trains are equipped with WIFI and there is a power socket for each passenger.
China Rail Timetables will Be Revised from July 2017 Onwards
Published on June 2nd, 2017
China Rail will adjust timetables nationally from July 1st, 2017. Tickets for trains departing before June 28th are currently available for purchase. Tickets for train journeys on and after June 28th will be available for purchase from June 6th.