How much luggage is allowed on China trains?
According to the official regulations, each passenger is allowed 20kg (about 45 pounds) of luggage and 10kg in the case of children (about 22 pounds). In practice luggage is never weighted and never measured. Essentially, you can bring as much as you can carry. In fact, even this is not a limitation. If you have too much luggage, you can find porters (“red hat service”) in most stations. We have often taken trains with 2 suitcases of 23kg per person and it was never an issue.
You only need to make sure that you do not carry any prohibited items such as bicycles, animals, explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids or other dangerous items such as knives or other sharp objects. Your luggage will need to pass through an x-ray machine when entering the station.
Where to store luggage on China trains?
– On high-speed trains
Luggage can be placed on racks above the seats. Most suitcases can fit except the very large ones. The large and heavy suitcases can be placed behind the last row of seats or in a luggage closet at the end of the car. Do not put valuables in suitcases that you cannot keep an eye on.
– On normal trains seating areas
There are also racks above the seats. Some passengers will also leave the heaviest suitcases in the corridor between the two rows of seats or in front of their seat. In the hard seat area, rows of seats are often facing each other with a table in between and some passengers put a suitcase under that table but this is very uncomfortable.
– In the hard sleeper area
Space is limited in the hard sleeper class. There is a luggage rack on the wall opposite to the beds. Some suitcases can be put under the table between the two rows of beds as well as under the lower bed.
There is a reasonably large luggage area inside the compartment just above the door. This is usually enough for four passengers. You can also place a large suitcase under the table between the two lower beds. There is often some mechanical equipment under the lower bunk, so this may not always be an option.
– In deluxe soft sleeper compartments
There is a luggage area just above the door inside the compartment. This is plenty of space for two passengers. As there are only two beds, there is also plenty of space to leave luggage anywhere in the compartment. There is a closet to hang some clothes.
If you have too much luggage or oversize luggage such as a bicycle, these can be placed in consignment. However few trains have freight carriages. High-speed trains do not have freight carriages and not all normal trains have them either.
If your train does not offer the service, your luggage will be placed on another train. If you are taking a bullet train, then this probably means that you need to go to another station. Checked luggage may arrive later than your train and at a different station. This is not very practical.