【3% Off】China Train Station: Layout, Tickets & Tips

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by Trip.com

China Train Station

Welcome to my blog, your best guide on China train stations! I discuss about the layouts and services of various China train stations, how to board trains, and insights into the most frequently used and popular stations. If you plan to visit China, you must read this! 👀

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✨Popular China Bullet Train Routes✨

Shanghai - Hangzhou
  • DepartureShanghai Hongqiao
  • ArrivalHangzhou East
  • Duration~45m
  • Price (2nd Class)From $8.00
Shanghai - Beijing
  • DepartureShanghai Hongqiao
  • ArrivalBeijing South
  • Duration~6h
  • Price (2nd Class)From $79.40
Shanghai - Shenzhen
  • DepartureShanghai Hongqiao
  • ArrivalShenzhen North
  • Duration~7h
  • Price (2nd Class)From $81.46

Facilities & Service in China train station

China Train Station Facilities & Service in China train station

China Train Station Toilets (Source from Xiaohongshu)

China train stations provide various facilities and services to make train travel easier for passengers! Check the following tables for details 👇

Facilities at China Train Stations

FacilityDescription
Drinking WaterBoiled water dispensers are positioned near waiting areas. Remember, tap water is not drinkable.
Business Class LoungesLounges offer a quiet space with snacks and direct platform access for business class ticket holders.
SeatingWaiting halls provide numerous seats, some with cushioning for added comfort.
Nursing RoomsDedicated areas for mothers and infants are available in larger stations.
ToiletsFacilities include both squat and Western-style toilets. Passengers should bring their own toilet paper.
Charging StationsStations include charging points equipped with USB cables for mobile devices.
LED ScreensDisplay crucial train details like departure times and platform numbers in both Chinese and English.
ElevatorsElevators facilitate access for passengers with disabilities or those carrying heavy luggage to all station areas.

Services at China Train Stations

ServiceDescription
Ticket ServicesMachines and counters for ticket purchases and collections are near station entrances. Passport holders must use staffed counters.
Baggage ServicesFacilities for storing luggage and checking in oversized bags, with variable fees based on size or weight.
Inquiry CountersStations have counters where staff help passengers with queries. Some staff members speak English.
Porter Service'Red Cap' porters assist with luggage from the entrance to the train and vice versa, available for a fee.
Smoking AreasDesignated areas for smoking are set up near toilets in waiting areas.
MarketplacesStations have shops selling snacks, drinks, and souvenirs, generally at higher prices than outside.
RestaurantsDining options include fast-food outlets and restaurants serving Chinese dishes, typically priced above external alternatives.
China Train Station Facilities & Service in China train station

China Train Station LED Screens (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Layout of China train station

China's train stations share some common parts like station halls, ticket offices, waiting areas, and platforms. These help handle the large number of travelers, especially during busy times like May Day, Chinese National Day, and the Spring Festival.

Station Squares

The station squares are the main entry areas to the train stations and are built to manage big crowds. Here, passengers gather to get into the station hall. During busy seasons, these squares fill up with people lining up to go through security checks and enter the station.

China Train Station Layout of China train station China Train Station Squares

China Train Station Squares (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Station Hall and Ticket Offices

Right by the entrance, the station hall includes ticket offices where passengers can buy or pick up tickets. There are machines that read Chinese ID cards for self-service, but there are also staffed counters for those who need help or don't have a Chinese ID. After getting their tickets, travelers use this area to find out where their waiting hall is and other train journey details.

China Train Station Layout of China train station China Train Station Ticket Offices

China Train Station Ticket Offices (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Waiting Halls

The waiting halls are usually on the first or second floors. These are spaces where passengers wait until their train is ready to board. The design of these halls varies: some stations have one large hall while others have a few smaller ones.

China Train Station Layout of China train station China Train Station Waiting Halls

China Train Station Waiting Halls (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Platforms

The train platforms are typically located on the ground floor, accessible from the waiting halls via passages and stairs. While some stations are equipped with escalators, not all have them. Each platform is clearly numbered, making it straightforward for passengers to locate the correct one for their train.

China Train Station Layout of China train station China Train Station Platform

China Train Station Platforms (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Other Services

The subway access is usually under the platforms, making it easy for travelers to switch between long-distance trains and local metro services. Clear signs help people find their way to exits, bus stops, and parking areas, making it easier to move around the station.

China Train Station Layout of China train station

China Train Station Signs (Source from Xiaohongshu)

Layout of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

To better illustrate the layout of a typical Chinese train station, let's look at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, which spans four floors.
  • Mezzanine of 2F: This level serves as a commercial and dining area featuring well-known chains like McDonald's, KFC, and Starbucks.
  • 2F Level: The main entrance and taxi drop-off area are located here. You'll also find ticket offices, a departure lounge, and a business lounge.
  • 1F Level: Home to the platforms and railway tracks, this floor includes lifts that connect to the departure hall.
  • B1 Level: This basement level serves as the arrival area and includes stations for metro lines 2, 10, and 17. It features additional facilities like ticket offices, an exit, taxi pick-up areas, parking lots, and a bus station. A passage also connects to Terminal 2 of Hongqiao Airport.
China Train Station Layout of China train station

Shanghai Hongqiao station layout map (Source from Chinaairlinetravel)

How to Catch a Train in China?

China Train Station Layout of China train station

Ticket Gate between Waiting Hall and Platform (Source from Xiaohongshu)

1. Ticket Collection: Start at the station squares and collect your ticket from the automated machines.

2. Ticket Check: Proceed to the station hall entrance where there are multiple gates for ticket checks. Have your ID and ticket ready for verification.

3. Security Screening: Pass through luggage security to ensure safety.

4. Find Your Waiting Hall: Use the station's LED displays to locate the appropriate waiting hall.

5. Final Ticket Check: About 15 minutes before departure, check the ticket & ID at the gate between waiting hall and platform, then get into the right platform.

6. Board the Train: Follow your ticket details to find the right car and seat, and board your train.

How to Buy Train Tickets in China?

Buying train tickets in China is a straightforward process, especially with online apps like Trip.com. You can easily find a wide selection of train tickets, including those for high-speed rail. Trip.com allows you to book tickets for popular routes across the country from the comfort of your home or on the go.

Here are some popular train routes in China that you can book through Trip.com:

Departure Destination Average Time Distance Details
Beijing Shanghai 4.5-6 hours Approx. 1,318 km
Beijing Guangzhou 8-10 hours Approx. 2,298 km
Shanghai Kunming 10-12 hours Approx. 2,252 km
Chengdu Chongqing 1.5-2 hours Approx. 308 km

💖If you're curious about how to buy China train tickets, check the following articles to learn more:

Frequently used China high speed railway stations

Generally, older train stations are strategically located in the urban centers, serving both conventional and a limited number of bullet trains. In contrast, newer stations tend to be situated on the outskirts of cities and are predominantly designed for high-speed services. In this section, we get to know some of the busiest high-speed railway stations in China. These stations are important for Chinese travelers because they connect large cities and popular tourist destinations with frequent train services.

CityStationsDetails
BeijingBeijing South, Beijing West, Beijing Railway StationBeijing South is the busiest, with 383 daily high-speed trains.
ShanghaiShanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai Railway StationShanghai Hongqiao is near the airport and sees 505 high-speed trains daily.
GuangzhouGuangzhou SouthA major hub in the south connecting to numerous cities.
Xi'anXi'an NorthThe main high-speed station in Xi'an connects to cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
ChengduChengdu East, Chengdu, Chengdu SouthChengdu East is the main high-speed station among the three.
HangzhouHangzhou East, Hangzhou South, Hangzhou, YuhangHangzhou East is a key high speed train station near the famous West Lake.
ChongqingChongqing North, Chongqing West, ShapingbaChongqing North is the most frequented for high-speed travel.
GuilinGuilin, Guilin North, Guilin WestGuilin and Guilin North are central and serve many high-speed trains.
HuangshanHuangshan, Huangshan NorthHuangshan North, opened in 2015, specializes in high-speed trains.
Hong KongWest KowloonThe only high-speed station in Hong Kong, located in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Popular China train stations

In China, train stations like Shanghai Hongqiao, Beijing South, Hangzhou East, and Xi'an North are among the busiest stations. They handle millions of passengers each year and are key for those traveling between major cities and popular tourist spots in China.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

China Train Station Popular China train stations

Source from Wikipedia

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, officially named 上海虹桥站 (Shànghǎi Hóngqiáo Zhàn) and listed as Shanghaihongqiao on train tickets, stands out as one of the largest railway stations in Asia. Located at 1500 Shengui Road, Minhang District, Shanghai, the station is conveniently situated just 500 meters west of Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2. It features 30 platforms, making it a major hub for high-speed rail in the region and an integral part of Shanghai's transportation network.

LevelDescription
B1Arrival level, metro lines 2, 10, 17, taxi pick-up, bus station, parking, link to Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2
1FPlatforms and tracks, lifts to the departure hall
2FMain entrance, ticket offices, departure lounge, business lounge
Mezzanine of 2FDining and commercial area with outlets like McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks

【Popular Train Routes】

  • To Beijing South: 37 G-series trains operate daily, with a travel time of approximately 5½ hours, costing 550 yuan for second class.
  • To Suzhou: 38 G and D trains daily with the shortest journey taking about 23 minutes.
  • To Hangzhou: Up to 23 G-trains daily with travel times around 1 hour.
  • To Nanjing: About 60 G-trains run daily, taking roughly 70 to 90 minutes for a one-way trip.

Beijing South Railway Station

China Train Station Popular China train stations

Source from Wikipedia

Beijing South Railway Station, known in Chinese as 北京南站 (Běijīng Nán Zhàn) and on tickets as Beijingnan, is a prominent hub in China's high-speed rail network. Located at 12 Yongwai Avenue, Fengtai District, just 7 km southwest of the Forbidden City and 35 km from Beijing Capital International Airport, it boasts 13 platforms and 24 railway lines. This station is not only vital for east, south, and northeast bound high-speed trains but also serves as an architectural marvel, reminiscent of the iconic Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, and is a gateway to many of China's key cities including Shanghai, Tianjin, and Hangzhou.

LevelDescription
2FWaiting hall, boarding gates, ticket office, restaurants
1FPlatforms, transfer channels
-1FStation lobby, ticket offices
-2FSubway platforms

【Popular Destinations】

  • To Shanghai Hongqiao: About 37 daily G-series trains, travel time ~5 hours.
  • To Tianjin: 80 daily C-series and G-series trains, travel time ~30-37 minutes.
  • To Suzhou: Multiple G and D series trains, shortest travel time ~23 minutes.
  • To Hangzhou: G-series trains take about 1 hour.

【from Beijing South Railway Station to Key Attraction】

DestinationTransportation OptionDetails
Forbidden CitySubwayLine 4 to Xidan, then Line 1 to Tian'anmen East, walk to Forbidden City (approx. 30 minutes)

Xi'an North Railway Station

China Train Station Popular China train stations

Source from Wikipedia

Xi'an North Railway Station, marked as Xī'ānběi Zhàn (西安北站) on tickets, serves exclusively high-speed trains and is the city's main bullet train hub. Located at Shangxin Road in the Weiyang District, the station is about 14 kilometers north of Xi'an's city center near the Bell Tower. It features 18 platforms and 34 rail lines, making it a central point for travel to and from Xi'an.

LevelDescription
B1Arrival hall, subway entrances and exits, ticket windows
1FPlatforms, ticket offices, exits/entrances
2FWaiting hall, ticket office, commercial area
-2FSubway platforms for Metro Line 2

【Popular Destinations 】

  • To Beijing West Station: Around 14 G trains daily, travel time approximately 6 hours.
  • To Pingyao Station: 7 D trains daily, travel time about 2h 45 mins.
  • To Mount Hua (Huashan North Station): 17 D trains daily, travel time around 35 minutes.
  • To Shanghai Station: One D train daily, travel time about 11 hours 15 minutes.

【from Xi'an North Railway Station to Key Locations】

DestinationTransportation OptionDetails
Bell Tower (Central Xi'an)TaxiApprox. 23 minutes, about 40 RMB
Terracotta Warriors MuseumSubway and BusLine 2 to North Street, then Tourism Bus 5, 306, or 914 to the Terracotta Army

Hangzhou East Railway Station

China Train Station Popular China train stations

Source from Wikipedia

Hangzhou East Railway Station, also known as 杭州东站 (Hángzhōu Dōng Zhàn) on train tickets, is a major station located approximately 15 kilometers northeast of West Lake in Hangzhou. With its expansive area of 400,000 square meters, it efficiently serves nearly 100 million passengers annually. The station is renowned for its architecture inspired by the "Tide of Qiantang River," enhancing its visual appeal and connection to local culture.

LevelDescription
Bottom FloorSubway platforms, parking lot, ATM, inquiries
-1 FloorTicket windows, taxi stands, subway entrances/exits, shops, restaurants
1st FloorPlatforms, ticket offices, exits/entrances
2nd FloorWaiting room, ticket offices, information desk, left luggage, restaurants, taxi drop-off area

【Popular Destinations】

  • To Beijing South Station: 20 G-trains daily, travel time around 6 hours.
  • To Shanghai Hongqiao Station: 140 bullet trains daily, travel time about 1 hour.
  • To Yiwu Station: 64 bullet trains daily, ideal for accessing Yiwu's commodity market, with a 35-minute journey.

【from Hangzhou East Railway Station to Key Attractions】

Below is a table about transportation options from Hangzhou East Railway Station to famous landmarks in Hangzhou.

DestinationTransportation OptionDetails
West LakeTaxiApprox. 23 minutes, around 34 RMB
MetroLine 1 to Dingan Road Station, exit via C (42 minutes, 4 RMB)
BusBus 31 to Qianwang Memorial Temple, then walk (65 minutes, 2 RMB)
Wulin Square (downtown)TaxiApprox. 40 minutes, around 100 RMB
MetroLine 1 to Wulin Square Station (30 minutes, 3 RMB)

List of China Train Station

We've made a full list of major Chinese railway stations, organized alphabetically. There are over 5,500 China train stations across an extensive rail network spanning 159,000 kilometers. About 500 stations run high-speed G-trains, and 600 stations have D-trains. Let's take a look at all of them!

LetterCityRailway StationLetterCityRailway Station
AAnqingAnqing Railway StationLLianyungangLianyungang Railway Station
BBadalingBadaling Great Wall Railway StationLijiangLijiang Railway Station
BeijingBeijing Railway StationLuoyangLuoyang Longmen Railway Station
Beijing North Railway StationMMeilanHaikou Meilan Airport Railway Station
Beijing Qinghe Railway StationNNanchangNanchang Railway Station
Beijing West Railway StationNanchang West Railway Station
Beijing Chaoyang Railway StationNanjingNanjing Railway Station
Beijing Fengtai Railway StationNanningNanning Railway Station
BeihaiBeihai Railway StationNanning East Railway Station
CChangbaiChangbaishan Railway StationNantongNantong Railway Station
ChangchunChangchun Railway StationNantong West Railway Station
Changchun West Railway StationNNingboNingbo Railway Station
ChangzhouChangzhou Railway StationPPingyaoPingyao Gucheng Railway Station
Changzhou North Railway StationQQingdaoQingdao Railway Station
ChaoshanChaoshan Railway StationQingdao North Railway Station
ChengduChengdu South Railway StationQuanzhouQuanzhou Railway Station
ChongqingChongqing North Railway StationQuzhouQuzhou Railway Station
Chongqing West Railway StationSSanyaSanya Railway Station
DDaliDali Railway StationShanghaiShanghai Railway Station
DalianDalian Railway StationShanghai South Railway Station
Dalian North Railway StationShangri-LaShangri-La Station
DatongDatong South Railway StationShantouShantou Railway Station
DongguanDongguan Railway StationShanweiShanwei Railway Station
Dongguan South Railway StationShenyangShenyang Railway Station
EEmeishanEmeishan Railway StationShenyang North Railway Station
FFenghuangFenghuang Ancient Town Railway StationShenzhenShenzhen Railway Station
FoshanFoshan West Railway StationShenzhen Futian Railway Station
FuzhouFuzhou Railway StationShijiazhuangShijiazhuang Railway Station
Fuzhou South Railway StationShigatseShigatse Railway Station
GGuangzhouGuangzhou Railway StationSuzhouSuzhou Railway Station
Guangzhou East Railway StationSuzhou North Railway Station
Guangzhou North Railway StationTTaiAnTaiAn Railway Station
Guangzhou Baiyun Railway StationTaiyuanTaiyuan South Railway Station
GuilinGuilin Railway StationTaizhouTaizhou Railway

12306 vs. Trip.com

When booking train tickets in China, travelers can choose between 12306, the official site of China Railway Corporation, and Trip.com, a reliable international travel agency. While 12306 allows users to book directly, it often experiences technical issues and offers support only in Chinese during limited hours. Conversely, Trip.com provides a user-friendly interface, multilingual 24/7 customer support, and accepts various payment methods, making it cheaper and more accessible for international travelers.

Feature12306Trip.com
Booking SourceOfficial China Railway websiteBest International travel agency
Additional FeesNo extra feesPossible extra fees
Service Hours5 AM to 1 AM (11:30 PM on Thursdays)24/7
Website ReliabilityOccasional errors and crashesStable and user-friendly
Customer ServiceChinese only, limited hoursMultilingual, available 24/7
Payment OptionsLimited to local methodsInternational credit cards, AliPay, WeChat Pay
Additional ServicesNoneHotels, flights, tours

FAQs about China Train Station

  • How many train stations does China have?

    China has over 5,500 train stations, serving both its extensive high-speed network and traditional rail services.
  • What is the newest train station in China?

    One of the newest train stations in China is the Beijing Fengtai Railway Station, which was reopened in 2022 after reconstruction. It is now one of the largest railway stations in Asia.
  • Are trains cheap in China?

    Train travel in China can be quite affordable, especially if you opt for the slower conventional trains or second-class seats on high-speed trains. Prices vary widely depending on the type of train and distance traveled, but overall, trains offer a cost-effective way to see the country compared to other forms of transportation like flying.
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China Train Station