Less than a month after Chunyun 2018 draws to a close, there are already visible improvements readied for the Beijing-Shanghai HSR, which features the world’s fastest conventional HSR train at 350 km/h (217 mph). Here are a few of the most visible improvements to note…
1. First-ever HSR trains to Central Shanghai.
There used to be only a handful of HSR connections from Shanghai Hongqiao (approximately 30-40 minutes west of Central Shanghai at People’s Square) to the main Shanghai Railway Station. This would involve very careful timing so that connection times were neither too long nor too short (Tracking China recommends at least 25 minutes; usually 30-40 minutes to allow for any minor delay enroute, especially on longer-distance services), and passengers would have to exit the train to make a connection. The new train carries riders straight to Shanghai’s main station, which is just two intermediate stops away from People’s Square, the heart of Central Shanghai.
These trains are: Trains G5 (departure time to be confirmed) and G21 (19:08 dp) from Beijing South; and Trains G6 (07:00 dp) and G12 (12:00 dp) from Shanghai. Note that these trains will not serve Hongqiao and will go straight to/from the main city hub.
2. Direct Beijing South – Nanjing South trains return.
Train G17 (19:00 dp Beijing South; 22:13 dp Nanjing South) are the world’s fastest trains, with services zipping right through Ji’nan West station. These trains mark the return of the fastest trains from Nanjing to Beijing, and finish the Beijing-Shanghai sprint in just 4 hours 18 minutes. In the opposite direction, Train G22 leaves Nanjing South at 20:00 and returns to Beijing South at 23:18. (Note: Booking for this particular train has not yet begun as of 12 March 2018.) These trains shave 6 minutes off travel time as they no longer need to slow down and stop at Ji’nan West.
3. More 350 km/h Beijing-Shanghai HSR trains.
Revival Express trains running at 350 km/h (217 mph) departing Beijing South to Shanghai (or Shanghai Hongqiao) now include Trains G1, G3, G5 (details coming soon), G7, G9, G11, G13, G15, G17, and G21; in the opposite direction, they include Trains G2, G4, G6, G8, G10, G12, G14, G16, G18, and G22. Journeys now take as short as 4 hours and 18 minutes (one stop enroute at Nanjing South only); the “slowest” finish the run in 4 hours 38 minutes, calling at up to three stations enroute. On the entire line (including those running to non-Beijing-Shanghai stations), the number of these trains have more than doubled.
4. More stops served by the 350 km/h Revival Express.
The new 10 April 2018 timetables introduce the intermediate station of Suzhou North, and in a first on an intermediate station outside of the Beijing-Shanghai HSR, the station of Huzhou in Zhejiang, to the growing list of stations served by the world’s fastest train. New termini served also by these trains include Hefei South and Hangzhou East. Other stations already served by these trains include Beijing South, Tianjin South, Ji’nan West, Xuzhou East, Bengbu East, Nanjing South, and Shanghai Hongqiao. Trains serving Suzhou North will run at 350 km/h; those serving Huzhou, Hangzhou East, and Hefei South will run at 300 km/h on the extended stretches for the time being.
5. New first and last departure times on the Beijing-Shanghai HSR.
The last train out from Beijing South now leaves at 19:08 instead of 19:05, giving you three more minutes in Beijing. Train G6 leaves the main Shanghai station at 07:00, which officially means the same first train time of departure time has been kept, but essentially gives you slightly more time in Shanghai, as you no longer need to rush to the Hongqiao hub 30-40 minutes away.