Travel By Train
 Train Schedule
Search China Train Schedule for timetable, distance, fare info, and recommended transit stations (if no direct trains) with English-Chinese cross-references.
also see China Train Schedule for over 2300 cities train stations in China.
 Downloadable China Train Timetables
- Complete China Train Timetable (Last update: August 08, 2008)
- Complete China Train Timetable in printable pdf format. Size: 3.36mb. It covers 2779 trains and 3199 train stations with departure and arrival time, station name in English and Chinese, total distance and time between origin and destination stations, number of stops, and the stopping station names and times. An $18 value timetable book, FREE from your fellow travelers at ChinaTravelGuide.com.
- Partial China Train Timetable (covering C, D, T, Z fast trains only. Last update: August 08, 2008)
- China Train Timetable for C, D, T, Z fast trains in printable pdf format. Size: 3.45mb. It covers 816 trains and 283 train stations with departure and arrival time, station name in English and Chinese, total distance and time between origin and destination stations, number of stops, and the stopping station names and times. An $18 value timetable book, FREE from your fellow travelers at ChinaTravelGuide.com.
- Quick reference version of China Train Timetable (covering origin and destination trains only. Last update: August 08, 2008)
- China Train Timetable covering 7 cities with Olympic game venues (Last update: August 08, 2008)
Railways provide the principal means of transport for goods and people throughout China. The routes are generally cheap, safe and well maintained. Routes operate between all major cities and numerous small cities. There are ten types of trains (see "Train speed" section), of which Express is the best. There are four types of fare: hard seat, soft seat (only on short-distance trains such as the Hong Kong to Guangzhou line), hard sleeper and soft sleeper. Children under 1m (3ft) tall travel free and those under 1.3m (4ft) pay a quarter of the fare. Generally rail travel is comfortable but time-consuming due to vast distances between destinations.
The first passenger train on the 1,142km (710-mile) Qinghai to Tibet railway from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa in Tibet completed its two-day journey in July 2006. It is the most elevated rail route in the world, reaching an altitude of up to 5,072m (16,640 feet). Services now operate to Lhasa from Beijing and Xi'an, Chengdu and Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
 Train body
There are two types of trains in terms of train body:
- "Regular non-air-conditioned" type. This is the old generation train body. The regular type includes type 22's YZ, YW and RW (YZ for Yingzuo in Chinese or hard-seat; YW for Yingwo in Chinese or hard sleeper, and RW for Ruanwo in Chinese, or soft sleeper), and type 25B's YZ and YW (hard-seat and hard sleeper).
- "Air-conditioned" type. New generation train body. This type includes type 25B's RW, SYZ, 25G, 25K, 25T and 25Z's YZ, YW, RW, RZ.
Note that the old "non-air-conditioned type" train body does not necessary mean it's not air-conditioned. It just means that it's an old-style train body, and was not designed and equipped with AC originally, but it could have later added-on ACs. Your ticket will include additional "AC fee" when ride this "non-air-conditioned type" of trains.
 Train speed
Passenger trains are named either by a four-digit number (e.g. Train 1501), or by a Chinese Pinyin letter followed by one or several digit of numbers (e.g. Train T164). The Chinese Pinyin letter indicates different meanings as follows (ordered by train speed):
- G (高铁) – High-Speed Electric Multiple Units (EMU) Train. Fastest EMU train in China. Top speed: 350km/h. G-trains currently run between Wuhan and Guangzhou (1,068 km) in 3 hours, Shanghai and Nanjing (301 km) in 73 minutes, and Zhengzhou and Xian (458 km) in 2 hours.
- C (城) - Beijing-Tianjin inter-city train (城际列车). Second generation CHR (China High-speed Rail). Average speed is about 300km/h. Top speed 350 km/h.
- D (动) - Top-line trains (动车组). First generation CHR. Average speed is about 150km/h. Top speed 252 km/h.
- Z (直) - Non-stop high-speed train (直达特快). Top speed: 162 km/h.
- T (特) - High-speed train (特快). Across the local railway jurisdiction (跨局): 1~399; Within the same railway jurisdiction (管内) 401~999. Top speed: 142 km/h.
- K (快) - Express train (快车). Top speed: 122 km/h.
- N (内) - (Renamed as K trains 2009) Express train (局内快车). Same speed as K train, but runs within the boundary of the local railway jurisdiction. N train numbers are Nxxx, where xxx is the 3-digit number indicating which local railway bureau (see below).
- 1-100 Harbin Railway Bureau (哈尔滨铁路局)
- 101-200 Shenyang Railway Bureau (沈阳铁路局)
- 201-300 Beijing Railway Bureau (北京铁路局)
- 301-350 Hohhot Railway Bureau (呼和浩特铁路局)
- 351-400 Zhengzhou Railway Bureau (郑州铁路局)
- 401-500 Jinan Railway Bureau (济南铁路局)
- 501-600 Shanghai Railway Bureau (上海铁路局)
- 601-650 Nanchang Railway Bureau (南昌铁路局)
- 651-800 Guangzhou Railway Bureau (广州铁路公司)
- 801-850 Liuzhou Railway Bureau (柳州铁路局)
- 851-900 Chengdu Railway Bureau (成都铁路局)
- 901-940 Lanzhou Railway Bureau (兰州铁路局)
- 941-980 Urumqi Railway Bureau (乌鲁木齐铁路局)
- 981-998 Kunming Railway Bureau (昆明铁路局)
- L (临) - Temporary train (临时列车)
- A (按) - Temporary train per request (按需临时加车)
- Y (旅) - Tourist train (旅游列车)
- Four-digit number train (普快 or 普客). Can be fast or regular trains. The four digits have special meanings as below.
- 1xxx: Long-distance fast train stopping at many stations. Cross 3 or more local railway bureaus. Many of them are air-conditioned trains.
- 2xxx: Mid-distance fast train stopping at many stations. Cross 2 local railway bureaus. Many of them are not air-conditioned trains.
- 3xxx: Do not exist.
- 4xxx & 5xxx: Short-distance fast train stopping at many even smaller stations. Runs within the local railway bureau.
- 4001-4200 Harbin Railway Bureau (哈尔滨铁路局)
- 4201-4400 Shenyang Railway Bureau (沈阳铁路局)
- 4401-4600 Beijing Railway Bureau (北京铁路局)
- 4601-4700 Hohhot Railway Bureau (呼和浩特铁路局)
- 4701-4900 Zhengzhou Railway Bureau (郑州铁路局)
- 4901-5000 Jinan Railway Bureau (济南铁路局)
- 5001-5200 Shanghai Railway Bureau (上海铁路局)
- 5201-5300 Nanchang Railway Bureau (南昌铁路局)
- 5301-5500 Guangzhou Railway Bureau (广州铁路公司)
- 5501-5600 Liuzhou Railway Bureau (柳州铁路局)
- 5601-5700 Chengdu Railway Bureau (成都铁路局)
- 5701-5800 Lanzhou Railway Bureau (兰州铁路局)
- 5801-5900 Urumqi Railway Bureau (乌鲁木齐铁路局)
- 5901-5998 Kunming Railway Bureau (昆明铁路局)
- 6xxx & 7xxx & 8xxx & 9xxx: Short-distance regular slow trains. Slowest trains stopping at every stations.
C trains are China's fastest trains running between Beijing and nearby Tianjin. They were opened on Aug. 1, 2008. to provide easy access to Olympic football matches in Tianjin. D Trains are the top-line trains in China with cutting-edge equipment (except for those local Maglev trains in Shanghai). All other trains, ranging from four-digit number trains to T, K and Z trains have to yield to D trains, which surely carry the highest ticket prices. All the seats in D trains face the same way, and each seat comes with its own tray table. There is a speedometer showing how fast the train is going (usually around 180 km/hr).
 Train Accommodation
There are four types of accommodation on trains in China - hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper.
- Hard seat (硬座)- Most basic. Mostly used by working-class Chinese. The seats do not come with soft cushions. The train cars are usually noisy, and seats are less than clean. Maybe a good way to experience the real life of working-class Chinese for those adventurous.
- Soft seat (软座) - Comes with nice and comfortable cushions. Cleaner and roomier than hard seat with the price slightly higher.
- Hard sleeper (硬卧) - A berth where you can sleep. Each car has 11 open compartments with six berths; a fixed upper, middle and lower berth on each side of the compartment. This is the most popular type of accommodation for long-distance travel, and tickets are generally hard to get.
- Soft sleeper (软卧) - 4 berths (two upper and two lower berths) per compartment. The compartments come with doors for privacy. Each berth has its own small reading lamp, and other supplies such as cups, trash can, slippers and brushes.
 Train ticket price
- C trains between Beijing and Tianjin, the price for the first class seat is 69 RMB (US$10) and a second-class ticket is 58 RMB (US$8.5).
- For trains of "Guangzhou East - Hong Kong", the price for the first class seat is 253 RMB, and second class seat is 209 RMB. If using Hong Kong dollar, they are cheaper at 230 Hong Kong dollar and 190 Hong Kong dollar respectively.
- Refer to Ticket Price for D Trains for details.
- Refer to Ticket Price for New Air-Conditioned Trains for details.
- Refer to Ticket Price for Old Regular Trains for details.
 China Domestic Railway Map
The Chinese rail network serves all provinces except for Macau, covering a total length of 76,000 kilometres (45,600 mile). The map to the right show all the major train stations in China. The provincial capitals are shown in brown color.
International services run from Beijing to Moscow (Russia), on both the Trans-Mongolian Railway (via Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia) and the Trans- Manchurian Railway (via Zabaikalsk in northern China). The Trans-Siberian Express operates two weekly services, a train to Russia servicing Moscow and Beijing via Harbin and a China train via Ulaanbaatar. A service operates between Nanning, in Guangxi province, and Hanoi, Vietnam. A second cross-border service runs from Kunming via Lao Cai to Hanoi. There are also services from Beijing to Pyongyang (Korea, Dem Rep). Owing to demand, it may be necessary to book up to two months in advance.
A regular train service runs from Hong Kong to Guangzhou (Canton). There are several trains daily. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (tel: +852 2929 3399, in Hong Kong; website: www.kcrc.com) has express trains servicing Kowloon to Guangzhou and an indirect Kowloon to Lowu service. The services between Shanghai-Kowloon/Hong Kong (journey time - 25 hours) and Beijing-Kowloon/Hong Kong (journey time - 24 hours) both run on alternate days. There are twice- weekly trains from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Urumqi. There are three types of fare: hard sleeper, soft sleeper and deluxe soft sleeper.
Further information on rail services is available from the Chinese Ministry of Railways (website: www.chinamor.cn.net).
Note: Travelers on the Trans-Mongolian or Trans-Manchurian Railways are strongly advised to search their compartments and lock the doors before departure, owing to an increase in smuggling via this route.
Refer to International train schedule for detail train schedule:
- K3 Beijing-Ulan Bator-Moscow
- K19 Beijing-Manzhouli (Manchurian)-Moscow
- T5 Beijing-Hanoi
- K27 Beijing-Pyongyang
- K23 Beijing-Ulan Bator
- N955 Urumqi-Almatyr
- N23 Harbin East-Vladivostok-Khabarovsk
- Train 4602\4603 Huhhot-Ulan Bator