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China Train Information & Train Schedule

Chinese TrainChina has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world, and trains link almost every Chinese town and city. There is currently no railway into Tibet, but a line to Lhasa is under construction, due to be completed in 2007.
The rail network forms the backbone of the Chinese transport system and serves most of cities. Visitors can explore much of China by train and many find it an efficient and inexpensive means of travel. The cost is around 25 percent less than comparable air services.

Chinese trains differ from those in other countries as the seating is not separated into first and second class areas. In China, the accommodation on the trains is divided into four categories, namely, soft-sleeper, hard-sleeper, soft-seat and hard-seat.

Hard Seats[Hard Seats] Contrary to what the name implies, the seats are upholstered. These are the less expensive seats. These seats tend to be crowded and are not always very clean.
Soft Seats: These seats cost rather more but are very comfortable, with plenty of leg room. The carriages are less crowded than the hard-seat carriages.



Hard Sleeper[Hard Sleeper] The hard-sleeper carriage is made up of door-less compartments. Each one contains six beds in three tiers. Sheets, pillows and blankets are provided and it somewhat resembles a budget hotel. Comparing with the soft-sleeper, hard-sleeper is less comfortable and accordingly, the price is lower than that of the soft-sleeper. Competition for hard-sleepers has become keen in recent years, so if you get one, you are very lucky.


Soft Sleepers[Soft-Sleeper] The soft-sleeper carriages are divided into separate compartments and each compartment has two lower and two upper berths. Sheets and blankets are provided and are generally of good standard. Western style washrooms and toilets are located at both ends of the compartment. Soft sleeper costs twice as much as hard sleeper and almost the same price as flying. Therefore, soft sleeper tickets are more easily available.


There are washrooms on the trains. The toilets, irrespective of class, are not usually very hygienic and it is a good idea to bring your own toilet paper! Boiled water is available on trains and dining cars on long distance routes only.


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Map of China Rail Line
Map of China Rail Line
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