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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 in China.
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.
Buying train tickets to/from Hong Kong is different from buying train tickets in Mainland China.
From November 11th to December 31th, 2018, No Tickets Will Be Sold for 52 High-Speed Trains Passing Through Shanghai
Published on Nov. 8th, 2018
During the period November 11th to December 31th, 2018, tickets for 52 high-speed trains passing through Shanghai will not be available for purchase. These include the trains from Shanghai to Hong Kong (G99), Shanghai to Guangzhou (G1301, G1305), Shanghai to Changsha (G1341, G1347), Shanghai to Guiyang (G1321, G1329), Shanghai to Kunming (G1371, G1373), and from Shanghai to Nanning (G1501), etc. Such changes are a result of changes to the operating plan of the high-speed railway between Shanghai and Kunming.
Zhengzhou Railway Station to Carry Out 2 Security Checks
Published on Oct. 30th, 2018
In the period November 1-11, 2018, Zhengzhou Railway Station staff will carry out a second security check on passengers going in the Shanghai direction. As affected passengers will need to go through two security checks, it is recommended that they arrive at Zhengzhou Railway Station 1½ to 2 hours before departure.
Hangzhou-Huangshan High-Speed Railway
Published on Oct. 25th, 2018
Since January 2017, normal-speed trains between Hangzhou and Huangshan have been out of service. Instead, two daily high-speed trains run on this route, cutting the travel time to only 3 hours. The high-speed trains currently running are:
1. Hangzhou to Huangshan: G1509 (09:49-13:15), G1519 (19:13-22:15)
2. Huangshan to Hangzhou: G1517 (08:14-11:15), G1507 (13:50-16:59)
The new high-speed railway between Hangzhou and Huangshan is under construction, which is expected to open in December 2018. After that, it takes only 1.5 hours traveling by train on this route.
Kunming-Lijiang High-Speed Railway to Open in Early 2019
Published on Oct. 22nd, 2018
High-speed train service between Kunming and Dali began to operate in June, 2018. The travel time was shortened to only 2 hours. High-speed train service between Dali and Lijiang is expected to open in January, 2019. By then, it will only take 3 hours travel from Kunming to Lijiang by train!