Trains in China – A guide for travelers

Trains in China – A guide for travelers

China’s train network is extensive to say the least, with nearly every city and town connected via over 90,000 km or tracks. The size is set to grown with the Chinas continuing domestic growth, plus proposals for inter-continental lines that could extend from China into Russia, Germany and even to London and from China through south east Asia as far as Malaysia.

Currently train travel in China is a reasonably efficient means to get around, clean comfortable and in most cases cost effective. The train network is also going through a process of growth in terms of coverage but also in speed and quality. The new HSR (High Speed Rail) network features super-trains capable of  least 200km/h and some 380km/h. read more

The K636 Train – Shenzhen to Yongding

The K636 Train – Shenzhen to Yongding

I’d been working away in Shenzhen for a while now so it was time for a journey. But where too? I’d been to nearby Hong Kong, Macao and had a quick look at Guangzhou, so where to next? I wanted to find somewhere not to far away, reasonably simple to get to, and somewhere that had something special going for it.

A quick look at the Shenzhen train schedule showed me something interesting, the Shenzhen to Fuzhuo train stops at Yongding, and Yongding is where the very famous Tulou buildings are located. Yongding is also close to Xiamen, a place famous for its clean streets, beaches and it’s nearby island, Gulangyu. So, it’s a done deal, Im off to Yongding. read more

Train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong

Train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong

Shenzhen is right next door to Hong Kong which worked out very handy for me as my visa was about to expire. Hong Kong being a Special Administrative Region of China is just like going to another country, so, it’s a popular place to visit and explore, and to then get a new visa if you wish to return to back China.

There are several ways to get to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, including the ferry, but for this trip I chose to go on the train. Apparently this is the most popular way to get across to Hong Kong via the Luo Hu Border. read more

Beijing to Shanghai via Train D305 – Soft Sleeper

Beijing to Shanghai via Train D305 – Soft Sleeper

This was my second trip on a train in China and again it’s an overnight train with the trip taking just over 10 hours. I would be travelling on the D305 which leaves Beijing South station an 9.40PM and arrives in Shanghai at 7.52AM.

The train leaves from Beijing South Station which is very modern, clean and an easy place to hang out featuring a KFC, McDonalds and numerous other cafes and a pair of restuarants. 

Being an overnight journey I went the the ‘soft sleeper’ option again with the ticket this time costing 685RMB ($107AUD) booked via the Red Wall Hotel tour desk. The train is newer than the one I took from Xian to Beijing   and also featuring a small LCD screen at the end of the bed which unfortunately only screened shows in Chinese. read more

Xian to Beijing via Train

Xian to Beijing via Train

My first time on a train in China was on the overnight trip from Xian to Beijing. China has many different classes of train and this one was the ‘Z’ train. This Z train (the Z20) was no old rattler, it was near new modern, clean and very comfortable train!

Apparently it’s wise to buy train tickets in advance so I did so a couple of days ahead of leaving Xian and had no trouble getting a ticket. There are two places to buy train tickets in Xian, either at the main train station which is just outside the city wall on the north side towards the east or go to a small little booking window which is on the side wall of the ICBC bank in the main center of Xian. At the time the lady at this office also spoke english. read more