China High Speed Train Types

China High Speed Train Types

You know China has the largest high-speed railway in the world with currently over 100 cities in China with a population greater than 1 million and expected to grow to 221 cities by 2025, linking by high speed trains. Taking high speed train to see and explore the vast China is one of the most fashionable ways to travel within China. The train experience would be delightful with relatively cheap tickets, painless security, comfortable seats, air-conditioned cabins and plenty of legroom.

So, want to take some minutes to figure out what types of high speed trains are you going to take? What is the highest speed you can experience during your bullet train journey? What are the huge differences between high speed trains and normal trains in China? Let’s learn together!

Dining Car on China High Speed Train

Fuxing train - the fastest train reaching up to 400km/h

Before starting, you should make clear what are Hexie Hao, Fuxing Hao and Vibrant Express.

China High Speed Train Types

● Hexie Hao (Chinese: 和谐号; literally: Harmony): It is known as the CRH series EMU and has root in foreign technology, which includes CRH 1, CRH2, CRH3, CRH5 and CRH6. While, the later variants of Hexie Hao such as CRH380A are designed by Chinese company without foreign technology. The highest speed can reach up to 350km/h.

● Fuxing Hao (Chinese: 复兴号; literally: Rejuvenation): It is next-generation EMU called CR series developed by China with independent intellectual property rights. There are usually two train sets - CR400AF and CR400BF. For the operation of Fuxing trains, the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai is shorten to 4 hours and 18 minutes for 1318 kilometers with the highest speed reaching up to 400km/h.

● Vibrant Express (Chinese: 动感号; literally: Vibrant): The vibrant CRH380A has been modified to a new model called MTR CRH380A, served under the brand Vibrant Express specially for Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Line.


The above name given are based on electric multiple unit (EMU). You can find the corresponding “Hexie Hao, Fuxing Hao and Vibrant Express” and Chinese characters on the high speed trains. Besides the different generations and trainsets, China high speed trains can be generally classified into three types according to its speed and track: G train, D train and C train. When booking your train, you can select from “G”, “D” or “C” series with different durations and prices. Not all high speed routes are with three series of high speed trains. Some are only with G trains, some are only with D trains and while some are only with C trains. Know their features one by one!

G Trains - the Fastest & Most Advanced Train in China

G train (“Gaosu Dongche”, high speed EMU Train, 高速动车), is the latest generation CRH (China Railway High-speed), all with a speed of 250-400km/h. G trains run on ballast-free tracks, with leading and advanced operational outfit. G-series high speed trains usually serve between major and popular cities in China. They run during the day and would finish the last trip before 12am.

The following routes are highly recommended to take G trains to explore classic parts of China.

China High Speed Trains (G Trains)

Many G Trains Going Through Wuhan

Recommended Route Distance Duration Frequency Price
Beijing - Shanghai 1318km 4h18’ - 6h17’ 38 daily G trains Second Class Seat: ¥553
First Class Seat: ¥933
Business Class Seat: ¥1748
Beijing - Xian 1216km 4h20’ – 6h2’ 17 daily G trains Second Class Seat: ¥515.5
First Class Seat: ¥824.5
Business Class Seat: ¥1627.5
Xian - Shanghai 1509km 6~7.5 hours 9 daily G trains Second Class Seat: ¥669.5
First Class Seat: ¥1095
Business Class Seat: ¥2114
Shanghai - Huangshan 662km 4~4.5 hours 2 daily G trains Second Class Seat: ¥304
First Class Seat: ¥505.5
Business Class Seat: ¥948.5
Beijing - Huangshan 1306km 5h33’ – 6h51’ 8 daily G trains Second Class Seat: ¥548.5
First Class Seat: ¥924
Business Class Seat: ¥1732.5

For more G train info, please go and see G-series Train & Features.

D Trains - the Second Fastest High Speed Train in China

D train (“Dongche”, EMU Train, 动车), is the second fastest high speed train usually running at a speed from 200km/h to 250 km/h, with highest speed of 250 km/h. It is the earlier generation CRH (China Railway High-speed), mostly used on the popular rail lines connecting more stations and intermediate cities. They run in the day as well as at night. Some long-distance overnight D-series trains are equipped with soft sleepers.

The following routes are highly recommended to take D trains to explore different parts of China.

China High Speed Trains (D Trains)

D High Speed Trains at Chongqing North Railway Station

Recommended Route Distance Duration Frequency Price
Guilin - Chongqing 757km 4h22’ - 5h43’ 23 daily D trains Second Class Seat: ¥255.5
First Class Seat: ¥408
Lanzhou - Urumqi 1777km 12~12.5 hours 4 daily D trains Second Class Seat: ¥551
First Class Seat: ¥882
Yichang - Wuhan 318km 2~3 hours 57 daily D trains Second Class Seat: ¥84.5
First Class Seat: ¥137
Shanghai - Yichang 1150km 6.5~8 hours 10 daily D trains Second Class Seat: ¥347.5
First Class Seat: ¥416
New Sleeper: ¥520
Deluxe Soft Sleeper: ¥900
Wuhan - Shiyan (Wudangshan) 442km 3.5~4.5 hours 4 daily D trains Second Class Seat: ¥141
First Class Seat: ¥225

For more D train info, please go and see D-series Train & Features.

C Trains - High Speed Trains Running between Two Neighboring Cities

C train (“Chengji Dongche”, Intercity EMU Train, 城际动车), is a kind of high speed train generally running between neighboring cities or only cities within a province, operating service on high-speed track at designed speeds at and below 200km/h (124 mph).

It is a time-saving as well as money-saving way to travel two destinations in a short distance by C train. No matter you are planning a long China tour and want to add some single attraction close to the big city into your bucket list, like Tianjin near Beijing, Leshan Giant Buddha / Dujiangyan Panda Base / Mount Qingcheng near Chengdu, Hangzhou West Lake near Shanghai, or looking for a short break in one hot destination with in-depth exploration to its neighbor destinations, you can choose the fast and convenient c-series high speed train as the transport.

Dining Car on China High Speed Train

China High Speed Intercity Trains - C Trains (Running from Beijing to Tianjin)

For more C train info, please go and see C-series Train & Features.

Z/T/K - Not High Speed Train Type - Speed at or below 160km/h

Z, T and K series trains belongs to China normal train (or China regular train). It is the conventional train in China usually with a speed at and below 160km/h (99mph). After the year of 2014, all the normal trains are colored in “GREEN”, so it also can be called “green train”.

● Z - Non-Stop Express ("Zhida", 直达): The highest speed is 160km/h (99mph). It runs directly to destinations non-stop for overnight train or several stops at large stations.

● T - Express ("Tekuai", 特快): The top speed is 140 km/h (87mph). Have a limited number of stops along their routes, only in major cities.

● K - Fast ("Kuaisu", 快速): It runs with its speed not exceed 120 km/h (75mph). This series of trains stop at more stations than T-series, usually at middle and large stations.

Qinghai Tibet Train

Qinghai Tibet Train with Gorgeous Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains View

Not every province and destination is linking by high speed train at present. Taking normal train to visit some places are still essential. For travelers who want to travel to Tibet by train, normal train from Beijing, Chengdu, Xian or Lanzhou will be your best choice at present. Zhangjiajie, the surreal Avatar world, has only normal trains well linked with Yichang and Changsha, etc.

For more normal train info, please check China Normal Train, Advantages & Disadvantages & Recommended Routes.

Your Next Step - Choose Your Favorite Seats on High Speed Trains

After having a basic understanding about China high speed train types, it is time to check the different classes of seats on G, D or C trains.

On the G trains, it usually provides three types of seats: First Class Seat, Second Class Seat and Business Class Seat. And on the D trains, there only are First Class Seats and Second Class Seats. On some overnight D trains, some sleeping berths are offered for a better comfortable longer train trip.

To let you know the features of each kind and class of seats on the high speed train, you can check the seat arrangement, size, equipment, and pictures of Second Class Seat, First Class Seat, Business Class Seat and New Sleeper, Deluxe Soft Sleeper and Soft Sleeper.

For more Seats Info, please go and see High Speed Train Seat Classes.

First Class Seat on China High Speed Train

Spacious First Class Seat with 2+2 Seats in a Row

Travel with China Discovery for China High Speed Tour

If you want to explore beautiful China by high speed train, China Discovery will book the most suitable high speed train schedules among G trains, D trains or C trains based on your tour arrangement. There is no need to worry about which types of train to take! What you need to do is tell us your favorite seat type, and we’ll try our best to book the type for you. Why not discover China with China Discovery with a superfast speed?! Go!



Highly Recommended Routes to Experience China High Speed Trains

As high speed train travel are becoming much popular and recommended by large portion of visitors in China, here we also list some top high speed train routes chosen by most people during their China tour. See the routes at below and pick one to experience the great advantages of travelling by high speed train. Also, you could check all high speed train routes to select which section to experience.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Visit Mutianyu Great Wall
7 Days Shanghai Suzhou Beijing Contrast Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Beijing

Xian train
6 Days Classic Beijing Xian High-speed Train Tour

Beijing / Xian

Breathtaking Scenery of Yellow Mountain - West Sea
9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai / Suzhou / Hangzhou / Mt.Huang

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

How many bags
Hi I am traveling from Guangzhou to Hong kong by train and i need to know hoe many bags and how big I can take with me. thanks for your help
2018-04-11 22:12
Hi Paulina,

Thank you for the good question. Are you going to take the normal train or high speed train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong? For taking a high speed train, every regular passenger could take carry-on luggage of no more than 20kg, child can take that of no more than 10kg, and diplomat of no more than 35kg. Besides, every pice of your luggage is required with a total length of no more than 160cm, and the rod items are no more than 200cm and 20kg. However, there is no very strict restriction about the number of pieces of luggage. And for normal trains, the regulations are similar.

Have a nice day!
Hangzhou to Shanghai south station high speed train
Im will travel from hangzhou to shanghai at 21 April friday, and im plan take high speed train like G, D or C type, from hangzhou station to shanghai south station, but im couldn't find the schedule for this type of train, can you advice the website to purchase the train ticket which able to have high speed train to shanghai south station. Thanks
2017-03-06 22:35
Hi Kent,

Thanks for your question. I’m sorry to tell you that no high speed trains are available between Hangzhou Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station. There are 9 daily K-trains you can choose instead and the whole journey takes about 2 hours. High Speed trains is time-saving and the fast G-trains take 45 minutes. There are 94 G-trains and 20 D-trains (06:50~22:31) running between Hangzhou East Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, 9 G-trains (07:58~20:25) between Hangzhou Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, 3 G-trains (departing at 06:10, 15:37 and 20:00) running between Hangzhou Railway Station and Shanghai Railway Station. You could book a ticket at https://english.ctrip.com/trains/

Best Regards

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