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High-speed rail in China is popular for its fast speed, comfort and safety. It has greatly transformed Chinese economy and society. Since 2016, China has possessed the world's most extensive high speed rail network, making travel around China more convenient and effective. Because of this, China has been chosen by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 countries to visit in 2018.
High-speed trains are designed for speeds of 200 to 350 kph (124 to 217 mph). There are three types of high-speed trains: G, D and C trains. The facilities and appearance of G/D/C trains are similar in that they are all new and modern.
The running speed of high-speed trains is between 200 and 350 kph (124–217 mph). G trains (fastest trains) cut more than half the time off the duration of a journey compared to a normal speed train.
For example, the G3 train from Beijing to Shanghai only takes 4 hours and 48 minutes, the D321 takes 11 hours and 49 minutes, and a normal-speed train takes more than 15 hours.
There are many high-speed trains running during the day (especially between popular cities), so you can choose the most suitable one according to your schedule. It's easy to cancel or alter, if necessary.
Unlike the high delay rates of airplanes and normal speed trains, high-speed trains have a high punctuality rate. This type of train is less affected by weather conditions or traffic control. It also has priority over a normal-speed train on the same railway line.
New and modern facilities on board make your China trip more comfortable. You can enjoy nearly the same service as on an airplane, and you can walk around on a train. What's more, you can use the Internet on a high-speed train without worrying about interfering with the train's signals.
High-speed trains are designed for speeds of 200 to 350 kph (124 to 217 mph). There are three types of high-speed trains: G, D, or C trains. The facilities and appearance of G/D/C trains are similar in that they are all new and modern. The bullet-shaped trains are white.
This category of train has a speed of over 300 kph (186 mph). The trains only stop at a few major stations along the way, and the ticket price is the highest among the trains. There are no sleeper cars on G trains.
D trains are the second fastest and are designed with a speed of over 200 kph (124 mph). This type of train is mainly used on the popular rail lines connecting major cities. Some overnight D trains have soft sleeper class.
C trains are only run between a few neighboring cities, like Beijing–Tianjin, Changchun–Jilin, Guangzhou–Zhuhai/Shenzhen, and Guiyang–Kaiyang. Journeys are short and sleeping cars are not provided.
China has developed a new type of bullet train – “Fuxinghao” high-speed train. It is now the fastest train in the world. “Fuxinghao” made its first appearance on June 26th, 2017. Currently, these fast high-speed trains are G1/G2、G3/G4、G5/G6、G7/G8、G9/G10、G13/G14、G17/G18, running on the line between Beijing and Shanghai. And "Fuxinghao" will be covering more rail lines between Nanjing and Wenzhou, Hangzhou and Huzhou, etc.
Compared to the old type of high-speed train “Hexiehao”, “Fuxinghao” is faster, safer and more comfortable.
What’s special on a “Fuxinghao” high-speed train?
Generally there are four kinds of seat classes:
Business class is the most luxurious on high-speed trains, and the price is the highest. It is spacious, with two meters (6.6 feet) of space between the rows. There are three seats in a row, and the fully-reclining seats make your journey more comfortable.
Superior class is only available on certain high-speed trains. Each carriage has 16 seats — eight seats at each end. It is in the best position for sightseeing. Each row has three seats, as found in a business class carriage.
First class is recommended for travelers who want to experience a comfortable journey on a high-speed train, and don't want to pay too much for it. The price is cheaper than business and superior class, and the seats are wider than second class seats. Each row has four seats.
Second class is the most common and cheapest ticket class for high-speed trains. It's a good choice if you are planning a low budget China tour.
See more tips about How to Choose between Train Types and Seat Classes in China.
Soft sleepers and deluxe soft sleepers are available on some overnight D trains, such as Beijing – Shanghai and Shanghai – Xi’an.
A valid identification document is required when buying a ticket and boarding a train.
Buying tickets online with travel agencies like China Highlights is the most convenient. China Highlights make train ticket online booking available to you to save you time, inconvenience, and money. All inquiries will be handled by China Highlights' experienced travel advisers to ensure you get the best service. Search for the tickets that you want to buy at China Highlights' Train Ticket Service. Or download our China Train App for a more convenient service on your cell phone.
See more ways about How to Buy Train Tickets in China if you don't want to book your tickets online.
The maximum carry-on baggage allowance for each passenger is 20 kg. The size may not exceed 60*35*35 cm (24*14*14 in), and the dimension should be less than 130 cm in total (51 in). The length of rod-shaped items cannot exceed 180 cm (71 in). Carry-on baggage in excess of the limit is subject to an excess baggage fee and must be carried on as checked baggage. See China train baggage allowance for more information.
Although high-speed trains have many advantages, there are some things you need to know before you decide to take one.
If you have a large frame, you are recommended to take a first class seat. A second class seat is about 43 cm wide and it may be a bit too small to sit comfortably. Business class is the most comfortable type of seat but the price can sometimes be much more expensive than a flight ticket.
The ticket price is fixed for trains — there are no discounts like there are for flights. But the prices for second and first class seats are usually cheaper than prices for flights.
Conductors on a high-speed train don't speak English. Therefore, it could be difficult when you need to order a meal or buy some snacks on a train. Those phrases may be helpful to you Top Chinese Phrases for China Train Travel.
Anyone who smokes on a high-speed train will be fined RMB500-RMB2000 (USD75-USD299).
1. High-speed trains only stop for a few minutes at each station. So don’t get off the train until you get to your destination.
2. High-speed trains usually depart from a remote train station in a city. So read your ticket carefully and make sure you go to the right station.
3. It might be noisy on the train during peak season, e.g. summer holiday, Chinese New Year and national holiday. Skip second class if you don’t like too much noise. It is quieter on first class, superior seat and business class.
4. It is a good idea to bring your own food on board, since the food on the train is expensive and limited in choice.
|From - To||Length||When to open|
|Wuhan - Jiujiang||198km (123 miles)||June 30th, 2017|
|Shijiazhuang - Jinan||319km (198 miles)||June 30th, 2017|
|Baoji - Lanzhou||401km (250 miles)||Sep 28th, 2017|
|Xi'an - Chengdu||519km (322 miles)||Oct 30th, 2017|
|Chongqing - Kunming||265km (165 miles)||Dec 30th, 2017|
|Lanzhou - Chongqing||1080km (670 miles)||Dec 30th, 2017|
|Xining - Chengdu||1068km (660 miles)||2018|
|Baotou - Yinchuan||546km (339 miles)||2018|
|Guangzhou – Hong Kong||180km (112 miles)||2018|