Taking High Speed Train from Beijing to Xian

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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Xian from Beijing by high-speed train. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Plan your Beijing Xian tour? Basically you may go visiting Xian from Beijing either  by flight or train.  Many travelers choose to take a  5-6 hour high speed train from Beijing to Xian or vice versa. We’ve rounded up some useful tips to plan your Beijing Xian tour by taking high speed trains.

1. The right train station for the trains from Beijing to Xian.
There are 4 major railway stations in Beijing, namely Beijing Railway Station ( the oldest one ), Beijing West Railway Station ( for the trains from Beijing to Xian, Lhasa and Kowloon), Beijing South Railway Station ( for the trains from Beijing to Shanghai and Tianjin) and Beijing North Railway Station ( for the S trains to Badaling Great Wall).

So you should choose Beijing West Railway Station for your train going to Xian from Beijing and back.

Beijing West Railway Station
Add: Lianhuachi Donglu, Fengtai District ( just south of Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution)
Tel: 51826253
The trains departing from Beijing West Railway Station: Xian, Luoyang, Chongqing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Urumqi, Guangzhou and Kowloon.

2. How to get to Beijing West Railway Station from Beijing Capital Airport?
1) Taking the  Airport Shuttle No.07: Capital Airport Shuttle Bus to Beijing West Train Station

2) Beijing Capital Airport Express Train + Subway: Take airport express train and get off at its final station of Dongzhimen (东直门), interchange for Subway line 2 to the south and alight at the second stop of Chaoyangmen (朝阳门), again interchange for subway line 6 to the west and alight at 7th station of Baishiqiao South (白石桥南), then again interchange for Subway Line 9 to the south direction and get off at the second station of Beijing West Railway Station (北京西站)and start your train travel.

3) Taxi fare: about RMB 130 ( 40km ).

2. How to get to Beijing West Railway Station from the city center?
To leave or go to Beijing West Railway Station, taking subway is the most convenient way of public transportation since the subway line 9 passes by  Beijing West Railway Station.

With subway line 9, you are linked to other three train station: Beijing Railway Station ( line 2), Beijing South Railway Station ( line 4 ) and Beijing North Railway Station ( line 2 and 4 ). Check Beijing Subway Map for more information.

3. What does the main train building look like?
Beijing West Railway Station is a modern passenger station 90 meters at the highest  in a shape of “品” with an area of 510,000 sq meters constructed with 10 platforms.

The main building faces north and south with two squares – North Square and South Square. There are public buses in each square with the north square having more public transport. Basically we suggest go through the north entrance to the station. If you take a taxi, just ask your taxi driver to go to the north square instead of south square.

The main building

The main building with the north square

Both the first floor and second floor at the north entrance are designed for check-in. If you taxi to the station, your taxi driver will take you directly to the second floor for entry while arriving by public bus you will check through the  first floor.

4. How many daily high speed trains from Beijing to Xian?
Currently there are more than a dozen of daily high-speed trains going between Beijing and Xian. You are supposed to reach the station at least half hour before departure.

The following is part of the train schedule ( subject to change without notice ):

Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time                        First Class / Second Class
G651 Beijing West 06:58 Xian North 12:47                       824.5 / 515.5
G671 Beijing West 08:16 Xian North 14:16                       824.5 /515.5
G655 Beijing West 09:43 Xian North 15:37                       824.5 / 515.5
G673 Beijing West 14:35 Xian North 20:26                          824.5 / 515.5
G669 Beijing West 17:31 Xian North 23:00                          824.5 / 515.5
G25 Beijing West 18:55Xian North 23:21                                824.5 / 515.5
Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time               First  Class  / Second Class
G652 Xian North 07:53 Beijing West 13:27       824.5          / 515.5
G672 Xian North 09:11 Beijing West 15:11        824.5          / 515.5
G656 Xian North 10:07 Beijing West 15:33       824.5          / 515.5
G88 Xian North 13:30 Beijing West 17:55        824.5          / 515.5
G666 Xian North 16:00 Beijing West 21:31     824.5           / 515.5
G674 Xian North 17:21 Beijing West 23:08      824.5             515.5
G90 Xian North 18:24 Beijing West 22:48      824.5            / 515.5

5. Ticket and Security Check at Beijing West Train Station
Either on the first or second floor there are several booths for ticket and security check.  Passengers are required to line up and go one by one with their tickets and ID cards or passports ready.

So don’t forget to bring your passport with you for the train ride.  Your luggage and bags will be X-rayed for security check.

Line up for ticket and security check

Line up for ticket and security check

5. Which waiting room ( or Platform )  for Beijing Xian High Speed Trains?
After having your luggage X-rayed and enter the main waiting hall,  you will see a huge electronic  train schedule board with real-time information on the trains in and out.   There are 10 platforms in Beijing West Railway Station with 1-5 for common trains and 6-10 for high speed trains.

Just match your train number with the waiting room number. Basically your waiting room leads to the platform for your train to Xian.

Normally your waiting room will be numbered “8” for the trains to Xian.  There are 13 waiting rooms inside the station. The waiting room No.8 is normally for passengers taking the trains to Xian.

 you will see a huge electronic train schedule board

you will see a huge electronic train schedule board

Walking through the long corridor and looking for the Waiting Room No.08 for Passengers taking high speed trains for Xian.

6. Any decent restaurants inside the main building?
There are some clean and quality cafes and restaurants available at Beijing Railway Station like KFC and McDonald. Luckily, your waiting room No.8 is close to MacDonald.

Your waiting room No.8 is also close to KFC.



And Starbucks



7. What about the waiting room and ticket collecting?
Make sure you are on the right waiting room.  The train staffer at the gate (Information Desk)  to your waiting room will double-check your train ticket for the right place.

The Entrancd to Your Waiting Room

The Entrance to Your Waiting Room

Each waiting room is marble-stone paved with air-conditioning  and ventilation system. On the front sides there is food and book stalls as well a cafe.

Each waiting room is marble-stone paved with air-conditioning and ventilation system

Each waiting room is marble-stone paved with air-conditioning and ventilation system

Check the electronic board to seat on the right row for your train.  Basically there are two rows of benches for each high speed train.  If you hold the pink-colored ticket, you seat and line up on the pink side; if you have the blue ticket, you line up on the blue side.

Purchased from a ticketing agent, a pink train ticket needs be checked manually while with a blue ticket bought directly from a train station, you need to have your ticket checked by swiping it on the machine by the gate.

Different passages for pink and blue tickets

Different seating areas for pink and blue ticket holders

You see people are lining up to have their tickets checked and enter the platform for their train.

 people are lining up to have their tickets checked

people are lining up to have their tickets checked

8. Get on the right car, compartment facilities and train speed
Usually it is quite a walk from the ticket check-in gate down to the platform and the  right compartment.  Just take it easy carrying or rolling your luggage down to the platform and locate the right car you are in.

Take an elevator down to the platform

Take an elevator down to the platform

Many passengers would stop and take some pictures of the train.  The train is sleek, thin and long with its head looking like a plane. The train is one of the design of CRH series. It is designed to travel at 350 km per hour.

However, the trains are only allowed to run at 300 km per hour due to the safety factor – keeping a required safe distance between following trains.

The train is sleek, thin and long with its head looking like a plane.

The train is sleek, thin and long with its head looking like a plane.

Manly there are two kinds of seats – 5-seat row ( second class) and 4-seat row (first class).  Some high speed trains have 8 cars and others have 16 cars.

There is a snack car on the train where you may have coffee, snacks and fast food. The inside of the train has a futuristic look as well with comfortable seats, wide windows, smartly dressed attendants and food service better than a plane.

It is easy to get on the train as the train is at a high level platform. And all the stations on route  are built with high level platforms. This males it so easy to handle your heavy suitcases onto the train.

The train is at a high level platform

The train is at a high level platform

A 5-seat row ( second class) car

A 5-seat row ( second class) car

A 5-seat row ( second class) car

Put your large suitcases on the luggage rack by the door in the linkage area.

luggage rack by the door

luggage rack by the door

9.  Train Speed

The train starts so smoothly that you won’t  feel you are moving. But once out of the train station, the train speeds up to around 300 km per hour. If you don’t look at the outside through the window, you won’t realize you are on a moving train. The electronic information board in each end of  each car showing the train speed  and  next station  stop.

All this is due to the elevated track that uses slab construction that holds the continuously welded rail. All the local traffic moves under the elevated track so there are no level crossings or underpasses.

All this is due to the elevated track

All this is due to the elevated track

Lunch can be bought  in the coach car from an attendant who supplies it from an airline type cart.

Lunch can be bought in the coach car

Lunch can be bought in the coach car

The slab non-ballasted tracks for high speed trains make the trains smoother and comfortable different from common trains on ballasted track.

The slab non-ballasted tracks

The slab non-ballasted tracks

Train tracks on a high level viaduct

Train tracks on a high level viaduct

Train tracks on a high level viaduct

9. Arriving at Xian
For the Beijing Xian High Speed Train, the Beijing terminus is Beijing West Railway Station, with the Xian terminus at Xian North Railway Station.  The major calling points are Shijiazhuang, Anyang and Luoyang on route.

Arriving at Xian North Railway Station

Arriving at Xian

Arriving at Xian

10. Go to Xian downtown by subway line 2
Arriving at Xian North Railway Station, it is both money-saving and convenient to take subway line 2 directly from the train station to the downtown Xian ( Bell Tower ).

Go to Xian downtown by subway line 2

Go to Xian downtown by subway line 2

11. Free shuttle Bus to the terracotta warriors from Xian North Railway Station
Once you arrive at Xian North Railway Station by high speed rail, you can take the advantage of the free shuttle going to Terracotta Amy.

For more information on the free shuttle, please check out the link: How to Visit Terracotta Army by Bus.

Note: There are some luggage deposit offices in the station to store your baggage.

Tip: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Further Readings

Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.

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14 Responses to “Taking High Speed Train from Beijing to Xian”

  1. Jan Cooper says:

    I need to purchase 2 tickets on train # G667 on Oct 21 and return tickets on G674 – my daughter and I will be in Beijing and want to make a quick trip to Xian to see the warriors. How do I or can I purchase train tickets in advance?

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Jan Cooper,

    You try to book the tickets online in advance by using the following travel website:


    Have a good time in Xian!

  3. francesca says:

    for Beijing to Xian bullet train is there much of a difference between the first class ticket and second class ticket in terms of comfort, etc? is it worth buying a first class ticket rather than a second class one? I have an 86 year old father travelling with me. Is it difficult to get to the platform? is there wheel chair access?

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Francesca,

    Beijing – Xian High speed train
    Second class: three passengers sitting on now row; seats are a bit hard and crowded. Ticket: 515.5 yuan
    First class: two passengers stting on one row; seats are bigger and softer and not very crowded. Ticket: 824.5 yuan

  5. Roar Froeystad says:

    How long in advance do we have to buy a ticket

  6. Daniel says:

    Dear Roar Froeystad,

    You can book the train tickets online anytime if the ticket you want is available. Check out the train ticket booking website:


    Have a good time in China!

  7. Che Ku Muda says:

    I wish to know more about the Xian Day tour package eg, 2 days tour and 3 days tour.

  8. Daniel says:

    Dear Che Ku Muda,

    Please check out the link below for more tour information in Xian:


    Have a nice time in Xian!

  9. bruce pumo says:

    on the high speed train Beijing to Xi’an do the second class tickets have a seat number booked or is it first come first served, do the first people on board sit wherever they like?

  10. Daniel says:

    Dear bruce pumo,

    Both first and second class tickets have seat numbers booked, not free seating.

    First Class Car: There are 4 seats per row
    Second Class Car: There are 5 seats per row.

    Thanks for your inquiry! Have a nice trip!

  11. Where does one choose their seats on the english.ctrip.com website? We hope to book First class tomorrow and would like to be sure that we two will be together.
    How much time should we expect to need at the station in order to pick up the tickets purchased on-line? Will they be Pink or Blue?

  12. Daniel says:

    Dear Lanita Wagner,

    1. Choosing seats
    As far as I know, you cannot choose your seats due to the random seating generated by China online official train ticketing website and Ctrip is just one of its outlets. Basically my experience is that you cannot book two connected tickets.

    2. Time for departure, blue or Pink
    Your ticket collection for entry to the platform starts only 15 minutes before your train departure time. But you need time to pick up your ticket. So I suggest you should get to the station a little earlier, at least one hour before departure.

    Your ticket should be in blue.

    Have a nice time!

  13. Ross says:

    Must Foreigners up a photo of their Passport when purchasing Air or Train Tickets Online .

  14. Daniel says:

    Dear Ross,

    Not sure about the photo uploaded online. Basically they need the passport number.

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