Classes of Travel on China Railways

For high speed rail, the following classes of travel are available:

Business Class 商务座 (most trains)
Premier Class 特等座 (select trains only)
First Class 一等座
Second Class 二等座

For regular rail, the following classes of travel are available:

Luxury Soft Sleeper 高级软卧 (select trains only)
Soft Sleeper 软卧
Soft Seat 软座
Hard Sleeper 硬卧
Hard Seat 硬座

In addition, on selected regular rail trains, other “rare” seating options, including a one-person sleeper, compartment hard sleeper, and premier class (general and compartment seating), are available, but these are generally very rare — and if you are not an avid rail enthusiast, you might not end up travelling on them at all!

Dining cars: Access to dining cars will be possible on every ticket, so if you wanted to sit in slightly better seating, you could just hop onboard with a Hard Seat, Hard Sleeper, or HSR Second Class ticket. However, do note that you will generally be asked to make a qualifying purchase if seated there. On routes with very high demand, you might be asked to vacate not long after finishing your drink, snack, or meal.

One class only on Beijing Suburban Railway Line S2: There is no longer a distinction between First and Second class on tickets for these services, although some trains may still come with both First and Second class carriages. In such cases, First Class will have been officially “declassified”.

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