Quick Railway Guide

Overwhelmed by the sheer dimensions of China’s railway network, and the infinite possibilities of connections available? Designed to be “dummies-proof”, the Quick Railway Guide here on Tracking China is here to guide you through.

You may also wish to take a look at general information for all passengers, or your rights and duties when travelling by rail.

1. Find your route.
You will need to find out your boarding and exit stations.
For more information:
Network: HSR (Key Routes) / Regular Rail (Main Routes)
Intraregional: Around Greater Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou
Interregional: From Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen

2. Buy your ticket.
Only use official rail ticket sources. Remember: ID needed.
For more information:
  Advance ticketing: when booking begins
  Classes of travel: from Business to Second Class and sleepers
  ID needed; what happens if you forget / lose ID
  Official outlets: Station counters, online booking, phonebooking
  Getting single journey tickets; using credit / debit cards
  Networked ticketing; handling fees; Pay Upon Arrival
  Child and student fares; other concessionary fares
  Rebooking; changing destinations; refunds
  Replacing a lost personal ticket
  What happens if you travel without a valid ticket

3. Get to your departure station.
Before you go, ensure your luggage meets all requirements.
You may need to be at the station earlier if your train leaves after midnight.
Avoid traffic jams on the road by using the Subway / Metro where available.
For more information:
  City & Metro connections

4. Complete security, ticket & ID check.
The railways need to check you, your ID, and your luggage.
For more information:
  Ticket & ID Check; security check policy
  Just in case: Lost your personal ticket or ID document?

5. Wait for your train.
Always listen to announcements.
For more information:
  Some trains may be coupled
  No umbrellas, kites, or balloons allowed in stations

6. Board from ticket gate.
Board early as ticket gates will close prior to departure.
For more information:
  Using Ticket Gates

7. Travel by train.
This is where the fun is!
For more information:
  Advice about enroute stops

8. Arrive at exit station; exit train.
Exit to the city centre or connect to another train service.
For more information:
  Railway Connections (Transfers)

9. Leave from exit gates.

10. Connect onto other means of transport.

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