The Chinese railways have announced a substantial change to their timetables, to take effect on 10 April 2019. It is likely there will be further fine-tuning to come in the summer, in advance of an anticipated speedbump on the southern half of the Beijing-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR.
Here are the major improvements as per the national rail operator:
- Faster and better times on a number of routes — Beijing-Qingdao, Beijing-Lanzhou, and Lanzhou-Chengdu are just a few lines outlined
- Continued operations for Classic Rail as in no major reduction in services
- More cargo trains
- Improved capacity and fine-tuning in line with national policy
Some of the more exciting novelties with this new set of times:
- Direct Beijing South (北京南) – Qingdao North (青岛北) High Speed trains: Two of these will run every day, one in each direction, cutting travel down to within 3 hours (a reduction of 49 minutes over current trains). This will be a direct, nonstop service.
- Faster Beijing West (北京西) – Lanzhou West (兰州西) trains: Trains G427 and G428 will only serve major provincial capitals and will skip other stops, thus cutting travel time from as much as 8 hours 32 minutes down to 7 hours 22 minutes.
- High Speed Regional trains between Lanzhou (兰州) and Chengdu (成都): New Revival Express trains will run between northwestern and southwestern China, cutting the journey time by 5 hours to “just” 6 hours 50 minutes or so. This is likely to use the new CR200J “Green Giant” Revival trains.
There will also be new trains running between Shenyang (沈阳) to Jiamusi (佳木斯), and between Dalian (大连) and Qiqihar (齐齐哈尔), all High Speed trains. Also, 10 new trains will serve Baiyangdian station, which is supposed to be closest to Xiongan New Area (雄安新区). There will also be more cargo trains. Classic Rail will not get services cut; in fact, upwards of 59 new Classic services will be added with this adjustment to the timetable.
The new timetables take effect as of midnight China time on on 10 April 2019.