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Railways Travel

This page will help you understand the railways travel in China and give you useful tips on that. China has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world, and trains link almost every town & city. Chinese trains are a safe, comfortable & cheap way to travel around China, and a Chinese train journey is an experience in itself. The rail network serves most of the cities and can be used as a cheap and efficient way to explore much of China, costing on average 25% less than travel by plane.

Classes of seat & sleeper
There are  four classes of seating and sleeper on Chinese trains: soft-sleeper, soft-seat, hard-sleeper and hard-seat.
Toilets: Chinese trains generally have both western & squat toilets, but it's better to take your own supply of toilet paper.
Restaurant cars: Most long-distance trains have a restaurant car, with waiter service of drinks, snacks & meals.
Categories of train
Chinese train numbers usually start with a letter, which indicates the category of train.  The better the category of train, the faster it is likely to be, and the more modern & comfortable the carriages are likely to be. Slightly higher fares are charged for the better train categories. There are D trains (modern high-speed daytime & sleeper trains), Z trains (high-quality express sleeper trains), T trains ('extra fast') and K trains ('fast').
How to buy train tickets
Chinese Railways don't have a central reservation system, so a station can generally only sell you a ticket for a journey starting at that station, not for journeys starting elsewhere. In big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai you should look for the special ticket window for foreigners. It's easy to buy tickets yourself at the station, but remember to take your passport . Tickets are best booked at least 2-3 days in advance, apart from peak periods.
Boarding your train
Always arrive at the station in plenty of time before the departure of your train. In major cities, especially Beijing, stations can be large and busy, and it may take a while to find your train. Departure indicators may be in Chinese, but you can easily find your train if you know the train number and departure time.
Hope these tips will help you a great travel in China by railway.

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User Comments

Name:Railways Travel Reply

I love railway travel very much. They say that the Beijing-Tibet railway is available now. I kinda wish that you could help me arrange a China train travel itinerary. I have 15 days around. Thanks.

Name:Re: Railways Travel

Glad to hear from you. I love traveling by train as well. Train communication in China is very developed and safe. I have made a China railway travel itinerary for you (Beijing – Xian – Tibet – Chengdu –Shanghai). Hope you’ll like it. Trains in China have four types of tickets, hard-seat, soft-seat, hard-berth and soft-berth. We usually arrange soft-berth for foreign train travellers, and it’s the best kind of trains in China.