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Train Classes & Ticket Types in China
China Train Classes
"G" is the first letter of "Goasu", literally meaning "High Speed"(EMU). This refers to a group of long-distance high-speed trains. G1-G5998 is designated for the trains that are used in more than one railway bureau's zone, while G6001-G9998 run only within one railway bureau's area. The whole railway in China is managed by several railway bureaus headquatered in different parts of China. Example:
G2001 Luoyang - Xian (08:36 - 10:29)
G2002 Xian - Luoyang (08:30 - 10:21)
C Train (top speed is 350 km/h)
"C" is the first letter of "Chengji", literally meaning "Inter City High Speed Train(EMU). At present this group of high speed trains refers to the High-speed express passenger train running between Beijing and Tianjin designed with the highest speed of 350 km. This Beijing-Tianjin bullet train features cleanness, low noise, elegant-looking and speed. Now C typle train is the fastest of this kind in operation around the world. The Shanghai - Hangzhou inter city high speed train is put into operation. It represents the high speed trains with shorter travel distances, and mainly running between two big cities within one railway bureau.
1) More than 2 railway bureaus: C1－C1998
4) Only within one bureau: C2001－C9998
C2001 Beijing - Tianjin (06:35 - 07:05)
C2018 Tianjin - Beijing (09:30 - 10:00)
D Train (top speed is 200 km/h)
"D" is the first letter of "Dongche", literally meaning "Moving Trains", a kind of EMU high speed train. These trains are powered using CRH series electric multiple units (EMUs) officially named "Harmony" (Chinese: 和谐号, Hexiehao). The trains D1-D3998 are running through two or more railway bureaus while D4001-D9998 trains run within one railway bureau. It can reach 200km/h. Usually it offers the First class seat and Second class seat. It is clean and comfortable, and the inside of the train is quite different from the other trains. All the seats face the same way. There is a screen that shows how fast the train is going.
D305 Beijing - Shanghai (21:46 - 07:55)
D306 Shanghai - Beijing (21:15 - 07:24)
Z Train (top speed is 160 km/h)
"Z" is the first letter of "Zhida", literally meaning "Direct Express". These trains offer "non-stop" overnight trains between two big cities. Z Train is popular and important in China. Most of the Z Trains start in the evening and reach the destination in the next morning and overnight on the train. The train has 4-bed cabins both for soft sleeper and hard sleeper tickets. Some has two-bed cabins. The trains have air-conditioned system, hot water, western styled toilet. There is a restaurant car on the train to serve three meals. The top speed is 160 km/h. It uses the numbers Z1-Z9998 regardless of the number of railway bureaus entered.
Z19 Beijing - Xian (21:18 - 08:19)
Z20 Xian - Beijing (20:16 - 07:17)
T Train (top speed is 140 km/h)
"T" is the first letter of "Tekuai", literally meaning" Express". These train refers to "Express Train" in English. Unlike "Zhida" - Direct Express Train, this kind of train stops at important big cities on route before reaching the destination. So T Train is usually more crowded than Z Train. Its tickets are composed of hard seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. It boasts of air-condition, restaurant compartment, toilet and washing room. The top speed is 140 km/h. The trains T1-T4998 run through two or more railway bureaus while T5001-T9998 are used for the trains going within one railway bureau.
T43/T46 Beijing - Xian (21:36 - 08:42)
T45/T44 Xian - Beijing (20:34 - 07:40)
Colour: white-red outside.
K Train (top speed is 120 km/h)
"K" is the first letter of "Kaisu", literally meaning "Fast". These Train refers to "Fast Train" in English. This kind of train is of course slower than "Z" and "T" trains with more stops on route. K Train is also equipped with air-condition system. It has a restaurant compartment, Chinese styled toilet and public washing room. The K Train ticket includes hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. The trains K1-K6998 run in more than one railway bureau, while the trains K7001 to K9998 will be operated in only one railway bureau. The top speed is 120 km/h.
K615 Beijing - Datong (15:40- 21;45)
K616 Datong - Beijing (08:33 - 14:33)
Colour: white-red outside.
"4 Number" Ordinary fast Train (Pukuai) top speed is 120 km/h
These trains are named by 4 numbers, such as train 1115(Beijing-Datong). These are slower trains. Most of the passengers are local common people, villagers and vendors. Most of the trains have no air-condition system. They have Chinese styled toilets, but without restaurant Car. These trains stop at most of the stations along the way, hence a longer travel time than the fast trains. The top speed is 120 km/h.
1) Ordinary fast trains: 1001－5998
2) More than 3 railway bureaus:1001－1998
3) Two railway bureaua: 2001－3998
4) Only within one bureau: 4001－5998
5) Colour: green
2671 Datong - Xian (16:40- 09:14)
2672 Xian - Datong (2257 - 14:47)
"4 Number" Ordinary slow Train (Puke) The top speed is 100 km/h
These trains stop at many stops as possible, and is often sought-after by rural workers to visit their home villages because of low ticket price. This is the slowest type of train. The top speed is 100 km/h.
1) Ordinary slow trains: 6001－7598
2) More than 2 railway bureaus: 6001－6198
3) Only within one bureau: 6201－7598
4) Colour: green
China Train Ticket Types
Hard Seat ( Available for T Trains, K Trains and "4 Number" Trains )
Hard Seat is cheapest way to go around in China. The hard-ticket car is usually very crowded. Very often you will find many people stand in the hard-seat car. Doing an overnight in hard seat can be awful. The seats make sleep improbable. Seat carriage toilets - squatting holes over the naked tracks - clog and stink up fast. Hard seats are used for the trains - T Train, K Trains and "4 Number" Trains.
Soft Seat ( Available for short distance K Trains or some "4 Number" Trains)
Soft Seat is only available for the train drive between 1-5 hours for fast trains. The soft-seat car is clean and comfortable. Soft Seat is not quite so costly.
The soft-seat is a nice way of traveling bewteen the cities at shorter distance.
First Class Seat ( Available for G Train, C Train and D Train )
The first class seat tickets are used for D Trains, C Trainds and G Trains, the CRH series EMU trains. There are 4 seats per row, just similar as soft seat.
Second Class Seat ( Available for G Train, C Train and D Train )
The second class seat tickets are used for D Trains, C Trainds and G Trains, the CRH series EMU trains. There are 5 seats per row.
Hard Sleeper ( Available for Z Train, T Train )
If you have a hard sleeper train ticket, that means you will spend the night in a 6-bed open cabin. The cabin has no door without any privacy. The hard-sleeper cabins are often noisy. There is a squat toilet and a washing room at each end of each car. The food trolleys pass back and forth along the narrow car corridor. You can buy some cheap food and drinks. If you pay more, you can have your meal in the restaurant car.
Soft Sleeper ( Available for Z Train, T Train )
If you have a soft sleeper train ticket, that means you will spend the night in a 4-bed cabin. The cabin has a door with much privacy. The soft-sleeper cabins are often clean and comfortable. There is a squat toilet and a washing room at each end of each car. The food trolleys pass back and forth along the narrow car corridor. You can buy some cheap food and drinks. If you pay more, you can have your meal in the restaurant car.
Luxury soft sleeper
If you have a luxury soft sleeper train ticket, that means you will spend the night in a 2-bed cabin. Only a few trains have 2-bed cabins. The ticket is also much more expensive than that of soft sleeper.
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