Normally, trains to China’s Great Northeast are packed with people to the extent that standing tickets are offered for non-HSR trains (or short-haul HSR). The open fact that a handful of regular rail trains will call at Tianjin West (with effect 08 January 2012), then, must have remained something close to a top-level state secret, as Train D162 (which as of the main Tianjin Railway Station shall have become Train D163) left Tianjin’s largest train station, Tianjin West, just about empty.
The underground link between Tianjin and Tianjin West stations isn’t exactly complete in full, so for the moment, the journey’s a bit longer — about 10 km over the maximum 5 km underground — and the trip’s 15 minutes (it’ll probably be half that, or more than that, once we get to go underground). But for those of you who are out to catch a connecting train at the main Tianjin station (which still doesn’t come with a Tianjin Metro connection) and are sick to death of wading through thick Tianjin traffic jams, you’ve got relief! All you have to do now is to hold a ticket to Tianjin. Boom — you’re there in 15 minutes — no traffic jams. You get to pass by the rather-historical (dating back to 1982) Tianjin North Railway Station, with its aging platforms and funny-looking station signs.
Prices top out at CNY 7.— for a First Class seat on express trains, which is still CNY 1.— cheaper than the flag fall price for Tianjin taxis (and we are still not counting the extra CNY 1.— required for a fuel surcharge!). For Second Class and regular rail trains, prices can only get cheaper and cheaper.
Feel good when you take that connection — you’ve shaved traffic off the roads!
This item was first posted in a constituent site which was later merged with Tracking China. It was posted before April 2012 and may contain outdated content. If a specific date/timestamp was not found, the default used instead is at 12 noon Beijing time. Only part of this post was recovered and reposted online.