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How to Read Ticket

With the rapid development of China’s HSR (High Speed Rail) network, a growing number of train stations are built in China. There are over 5,500 train stations in China at present – about 500 stations operate high speed G-trains and about 600 stations operate high speed D-trains. Apart from the economic and safe transportation means to other destinations, most these train stations are well-equipped with facilities and can be reached easily. Though different railway stations have different structures and layouts, they have much in common. With a better understanding of China’s Train stations, you can travel by high speed train in China more smoothly.

It's Very Important to Read the Name of China's Train Stations Currently

Name of Beijing South Railway Station

There are more than one railway stations in one city usually and some major cities have over four railway stations, like Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc. Therefore, you have to check your ticket information carefully and get to your correct railway station in advance. The first railway station of each city is always named after the city, like Beijing Railway Station, Shanghai Railway Station, and Guangzhou Railway Station and so on. The next newly-built stations are also named after the city and the orientation, like Beijing South Railway Station, Xian North Railway Station, Chengdu East Railway Station, etc. Please note that the names of the stations printed in the train tickets are in Chinese Pinyin instead of English, so you will see Beijingnan, Xianbei, Chengdudong, Guilinxi, etc. instead of Beijing South, Xian North, Chengdu Eastand Guilin West, etc. on the tickets. Moreover, most railway stations also use Chinese Pinyin as their English name as well.

东(Dong): East, 南 (Nan): South, 西 (Xi): West, 北 (Bei): North

Location and Transportation

Most old railway stations are located in the downtown area and the new railway stations are always located a little far from the city center. However, most of the railway station, especially high speed railway station, are always connected with convenient transportation network, and can be reached by subway, taxi and public bus. Besides, there are available daily airport shuttle buses running between the railway station and airport usually.

Layout of China Train Station & How to Board a Train

Usually, a train station has one or two squares and a station hall with ticket offices, entrance, waiting hall, exit, boarding/disembarking platform, subway station, etc.

The station squares are always spacious, and you have to queue up in the square to enter the station hall in peak seasons (May Day, Chinese National Day and Spring Festival).

There is an entrance from one square to the main building. Beside the entrance are two (or one) ticket offices. The ticket offices have self-service ticket machines and ticket counters. The machines can only recognize the Chinese ID card, so other travelers have to book, cancel, alter and collect a ticket from the ticket counters. With a valid ticket, you can enter the station hall. After entering the station, read to LEC screen to find your waiting hall. In the most railway stations, the waiting hall is located in the first or second floor or both. Some railway station has a big waiting hall in one floor, while others may have several separated waiting halls. The boarding/disembarking platform is always located in the first floor or the first floor ground, so you need to get down from the waiting hall to the platform usually. The subway station is always located below the platform floor. Follow the direction indicator, you will find the parking lot, bus station and exit easily.

How to Board A Train: Prepare Tickets & Documents → Arrive at Train Station → Collect Paper Train Ticket → Read Train Ticket → Identity Check → Luggage Check → Security Check → Finding Your Boarding Gate → Tickets Check → Board Your Train → Enjoy Train Experience

Frequently-used China High Speed Railway Stations

There are several cities enjoying large amounts of travel resources (both natural and cultural) and operate large numbers of high speed trains. These train stations are frequently-used. Check the Details

How to Choose the Best Railway Station

As we know, there is more than one train station in one city, so it may happen that two or more railway stations in one city operate available high speed trains to two or more railway stations in another city. But how the best railway station for you? There are several factors you can take into consideration.

E.g. Both Chengdu East Railway Station and Chengdu Railway Station operate high speed trains to Chongqing, but Chengdu East operates 20 trains and Chengdu Railway Station operates only 2 trains.

E.g.1) Shanghai Railway Station is quite close some great attractions (like Nanjing Road, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, etc.) and it will be convenient to catch a high speed train in Shanghai Railway station after your Shanghai city tour. 2) If you just arrive in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and want to take a high speed train then, choose Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station instead.

E.g. There are high speed trains from Chongqing North Railway Station, Chongqing West Railway Station as well as Shapingba Railway Stations. However, you can take metro Line 10 from the downtown area to the station hall of Chongqing North Railway Station directly.

E.g. Most of the train station in Beijing enjoys good location and very convenient transportation, but Beijing South Railway Station is much larger and more comfortable to stay.

  • Frequency. The train ticket can be booked 25 ~ 30 days in advance and passengers are suggested to book your tickets ahead of time. If it's a last-minute decision to take a train and you want to book the ticket in the railway station, choose a train station with more available trains.
  • Location. Some railway station is located the downtown area while others is much furtherer. If you need to get to railway station from your hotel directly, choosing the closest railway station will save you much time. Similarly, if you want to leave after ending your city tour, choose a railway station near your last attraction. In general, the old railway station is much closer to the downtown area.
  • Transportation. If you plan to go the railway station in rush hours (7:30~9:00a.m. and 5:00~7:00p.m.), you are suggested to take subway to the railway stations so that you can avoid the traffic jam. As a result, it is very important to choose a railway station which can be reached by subway. In fact, the most frequently-used railway stations are tend to enjoy more convenient railway station, like Beijing South Railway Station, Chongqing North Railway Station, Chengdu East Railway Station, etc.
  • Environment. If you have enough time to transfer to the railway station and long time to stay in the railway station, you can choose a newly-built railway station, which is likely to be more spacious, less crowded and equipped with more comfortable facilities.

High Speed Train Tips

How to Book, Alter and Cancel a Ticket

There are many ways to book a train ticket, including booking online, booking with a travel agency, booking at the ticket offices in China’s Railway Stations, etc. For foreign travelers, you are suggested to book with travel agency so you won’t meet with the language barrier. A ticket can be altered at appointed counters in railway station to an earlier or later train. It is also available to cancel your ticket before the scheduled departure time. However, you might be charged with service fee. Check details>

How to Collect a Ticket

You need to good the Collecting Window of the railway station or the ticket agency to collect your ticket. If you want to collect your ticket in the departure day, we suggest you get to the rail way station 2-3 hours early. ItHow to Read a Ticket is best to collect your tickets as early as possible during the peak seasons (like in Spring Festival, Chinese National Day). Check details>

How to Read a Ticket

From the train tickets, travelers could see the departure time, departure and arrival train stations, train number, carriage number, seat class/number, passport number & passenger’s name, boarding gate, prices etc. Please pay specially attention to the departure How to Board & Disembark a Trainstation and make sure which one you should go. Check details>

Baggage Allowance

Traveling with a train, each passenger is permitted to take baggage in certain amount, weight and volume. Besides, some items are prohibited to be carried to the railway stations and the trains, like weapons, knives, live animals, etc.

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