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China Train Soft Sleepers

Written by FabioUpdated Jan. 26, 2024

Soft sleepers exist on most normal-speed trains(Z/T/K & Digit Only Trains) and some over-night D-trains.

Soft Sleeper Coaches, Compartments And Berths

In a train configuration, soft sleeper coaches are typically positioned in the middle section, strategically located close to the most convenient boarding area on the platform. This central placement facilitates easier access for passengers boarding the train. Moreover, within the train layout, soft sleeper coaches are often situated closer to the restaurant car compared to hard sleeper and seat coaches.

In a soft sleeper compartment on Chinese trains, each of the four berths is marked with specific numbers. The first compartment is designated by numbers 1 to 4, and subsequent compartments follow this pattern. Odd numbers represent lower berths, while even numbers represent upper berths within each compartment. For instance, in the first compartment, berth 1 is the lower berth, and berth 2 is the upper berth. This systematic numbering helps passengers quickly identify their assigned berths for a smooth and organized travel experience.

The size of the berths is 75cm (30 inches) in width and 190cm (75 inches) in length. It is wider than hard sleepers. The vertical distance between two berths is 95cm (38 inches). Passengers can sit straightly on their own berths, unlike the hard sleeper that passengers in middle and upper berths may be unable to sit straightly if he or she is taller than average.

Berths on high-speed over-night trains are wider and the sleeper back is adjustable for a more comfortable experience, if you wish to sit up to read or chat.

Soft sleeper cabinSoft sleeper cabin

Soft Sleeper Facilities

1. Each soft sleeper compartment has a lockable door. It can provide a relatively private space for passengers and can help reduce the noise.  

2. Each compartment has an air conditioner controller, a volume adjuster, a vacuum bottle, and a waste bin.

3. A socket is in each compartment. USB sockets are set above of each bunk on over-night D-trains.

4. Each berth has a pillow, a sheet, a blanket, an individual lamp, and a hat rack. The pillows, sheets and blankets are cleaned and regularly disinfected. Besides these, On high-speed over-night D trains, there is an LCD TV for each berth, and also a wired headphone and bedside lamp

5. Boiled water tank, washbasins, and toilets are in two separate sides of a coach. Usually on normal-speed trains, only the Chinese style toilets are available. But on high-speed over-night trains, both Chinese style and western style ones are available.

6. Some mini seats are in the opposite side to the compartment door.

7. Inside Luggage closets are above the door.

Soft Sleeper Ticket Price

The soft sleeper ticket price on normal speed trains is very economic and close to or cheaper than the second class ticket price of a bullet train on a same itinerary . It is only 1.3-1.5 times higher than hard sleeper ticket price of the same train.

The soft sleeper ticket price on some overnight D trains is a little higher (about 1.3 times) than the price on the normal-speed trains. This kind of trains is actually an upgrade of the Z trains. For example, from Beijing to Shanghai, the price of a soft sleeper ticket for train D9 is 83 USD, while the soft sleeper ticket price for train T109 costs 66 USD.

New Soft Sleeper

If the soft sleeper introduced above is "old-style", then we can call the below one "New Soft Sleeper".

New Soft Sleeper Class (berths parallel to the hallway) China's new soft sleeper cars have already been put into service on for long-journey train travel route.

Unlike the old-style soft sleeper car, the new sleeper berths are parallel to the hallway. There are 2 rows of double-decker sleeper berths on each side of the hallway. The new sleeper class is more comfortable and provides more privacy.

There are no luggage racks overhead. Luggage can be put under the lower berth. And there are no seats in the carriage. Passengers, who take upper berths,  can only stand in the hallway or sit on their own berths.

Deluxe Soft Sleeper

In deluxe soft sleeper coaches, there are two berths (lower + upper) in a private compartment, with a lockable door. A sofa, a wardrobe, back cushions and slippers are all provided. A western-style toilet and washbasin are available at the end of the carriage. Toilet paper is available, but it is suggested to bring your own toilet paper in case it runs out.

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