In recent years, China has built the world’s most important network of high-speed rail with 22,000 kilometers of tracks.
Vast amounts have also been invested in the construction of new railway stations.
Considering that China airports suffer from the worst on-time record in the world, many high-speed train routes offer a viable and cost-efficient alternative.
This train is extremely popular with a ridership of 1.44 billion in 2016.
Why ride the bullet trains?
– Great comfort at a reasonable price
– Excellent on-time performance
– More reliable than flying
– Clean, modern and non-smoking
– You can enjoy the scenery
– Lots of leg space and air-conditioned
– High frequency of departure
– You can bring more luggage than on flights
Categories of high-speed trains in China
High-speed train numbers have the G, D or C prefix.
– G trains are the fastest of the high-speed train category with speed of up to 350km/h. They are long-distance trains that make fewer stops and have the most modern equipment. Speed varies from line to line.
– D trains have a top speed of 250km/ and provide fast and frequent service between important Chinese cities, serving more stations than G trains. There are also excellent overnight D train for routes such as Beijing-Shanghai, Shanghai-Xi’An, Guangzhou-Beijing and Guangzhou-Shanghai for example.
– C trains are running on shorter routes and are similar to commuter trains serving satellites cities near major centers or sometimes run from downtown to the airport. Running at speed of 200 to 300km/h, the most popular C train routes include Beijing-Tianjin, Guangzhou-Shenzhen and Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan.
Bullet trains offer various classes of comfort with the cheaper but still comfortable 2nd class seats, the more spacious 1st class seats, and luxurious VIP and business class seats. Seating is comparable of that of an airplane or even better. To learn more about the classes, go to this page
To visualize what China high-speed trains are like, watch this video that gives a detailed look at the trains, the services available and classes of travel.
While normal trains run around the clock, high-speed trains are daytime trains. The exception is the overnight D train. The overnight D trains are an excellent way to travel between cities comfortably, to save daylight for sightseeing rather than travel and also save on the cost of a hotel room. This video shows train D322 from Shanghai to Beijing:
Learn more about:
China train travel Tips
Popular high-speed train routes
Beijing – Shanghai
Beijing – Xi’An
Beijing – Pingyao
Shanghai – Xi’An
Shanghai – Hangzhou
Shanghai – Suzhou
Beijing – Harbin
Beijing – Guilin
Kunming – Guilin
Shenzhen – Guilin
Guangzhou – Guilin
Guangzhou – Yangshuo
Chengdu – Chongqing