China Train Station Guide - High Speed Railway Station in China


With the rapid development of China’s HSR (High Speed Rail) network, a growing number of train stations are built in China. There are over 5,500 train stations in China at present – about 500 stations operate high speed G-trains and about 600 stations operate high speed D-trains. Apart from the economic and safe transportation means to other destinations, most these train stations are well-equipped with facilities and can be reached easily. Though different railway stations have different structures and layouts, they have much in common. With a better understanding of China’s Train stations, you can travel by high speed train in China more smoothly.

It's Very Important to Read the Name of China's Train Stations Currently

There are more than one railway stations in one city usually and some major cities have over four railway stations, like Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, etc. Therefore, you have to check your ticket information carefully and get to your correct railway station in advance. The first railway station of each city is always named after the city, like Beijing Railway Station, Shanghai Railway Station, and Guangzhou Railway Station and so on. The next newly-built stations are also named after the city and the orientation, like Beijing South Railway Station, Xian North Railway Station, Chengdu East Railway Station, etc. Please note that the names of the stations printed in the train tickets are in Chinese Pinyin instead of English, so you will see Beijingnan, Xianbei, Chengdudong, Guilinxi, etc. instead of Beijing South, Xian North, Chengdu Eastand Guilin West, etc. on the tickets. Moreover, most railway stations also use Chinese Pinyin as their English name as well.

东(Dong): East, 南 (Nan): South, 西 (Xi): West, 北 (Bei): North

How to Read Train Ticket

Click to See How to Read Ticket

Beijing South Railway Station

Name of Beijing South Railway Station

Location and Transportation

Most old railway stations are located in the downtown area and the new railway stations are always located a little far from the city center. However, most of the railway station, especially high speed railway station, are always connected with convenient transportation network, and can be reached by subway, taxi and public bus. Besides, there are available daily airport shuttle buses running between the railway station and airport usually.

Layout of China Train Station & How to Board a Train

Usually, a train station has one or two squares and a station hall with ticket offices, entrance, waiting hall, exit, boarding/disembarking platform, subway station, etc.

The station squares are always spacious, and you have to queue up in the square to enter the station hall in peak seasons (May Day, Chinese National Day and Spring Festival).

There is an entrance from one square to the main building. Beside the entrance are two (or one) ticket offices. The ticket offices have self-service ticket machines and ticket counters. The machines can only recognize the Chinese ID card, so other travelers have to book, cancel, alter and collect a ticket from the ticket counters. With a valid ticket, you can enter the station hall. After entering the station, read to LEC screen to find your waiting hall. In the most railway stations, the waiting hall is located in the first or second floor or both. Some railway station has a big waiting hall in one floor, while others may have several separated waiting halls. The boarding/disembarking platform is always located in the first floor or the first floor ground, so you need to get down from the waiting hall to the platform usually. The subway station is always located below the platform floor. Follow the direction indicator, you will find the parking lot, bus station and exit easily.

How to Board A Train: Prepare Tickets & Documents → Arrive at Train Station → Collect Paper Train Ticket → Read Train Ticket → Identity Check → Luggage Check → Security Check → Finding Your Boarding Gate → Tickets Check → Board Your Train → Enjoy Train Experience (Check details>)

Chengdu East Railway Station

East Square of Chengdu East Railway Station

Hangzhou East Railway Station

Boarding Platform of Hangzhou East Railway Station

Facilities & Service in Station Hall

Most of the railway stations, especially the recently-built high speed railway stations are more user-friendly. They not only offer necessary facilities to meet the basic needs of passengers, but also provide helpful service.

LED Screen: After you enter the station hall, you will firstly see a big LED screen, which show the present days’ train information, like train number, departure time, arrival station, corresponding waiting hall, corresponding checking gate, etc. In the major railway stations in the big cities, the information is shown in both Chinese and English. Even without the English information, it won’t be difficult to read the screen. Take the following translation for your reference:

车次 = Train Number, 终到站 = Arrival Station, 开点 = Departure Time, 检票口 = Checking Gate, 状态 = State, 准点 = On Time, 晚点 = Delay, 正在检票 = Check In

Seats: All the waiting halls are equipped with a number of seats, and some of them are comfortably cushioned. Please find your checking gate firstly and take a seat nearby. In the peak seasons (May Day, Chinese National Day and Spring Festival), the seat will in short supply.

Toilets: Toilets can be easily found in the railway station. Most of the toilets are Chinese-type toilets (squat), but several barrier-free toilets are also available (western-type). Since there are toilet paper in the toilets usually, you are suggested take your own in case.

Drinking Water: Please note that the tap water is undrinkable in China. Enough boiled drinking water is accessible in every waiting hall. The water dispenser is always equipped near the toilets.

Charging Plugs: Almost every China train station has charging machines with plugs and you can charge your mobiles. Some charging machines are equipped with different kinds of USB cables as well. You are suggested not to use the phone while it’s charging.

Nurse’s Room: In the big railway stations, Nurse’s Room is available. There are tap, drinking dispenser, care unites and sofa for the convenience of infants and moms. In some railway stations in China, there are also some recreational facilities for kids.

Business Class Lounge: There is at least one business class lounge in every railway station. If you book a Business Seat, you are able to wait in the business class lounge where the environment is much quiet and there are some snacks and drinks provided. Some railway stations are equipped with business class access which allows you reach the platform directly and you needn’t queue up to cross the checking gate.

Stores and Markets: There are markets selling some snacks, drinks or some local souvenirs, but the price is higher than the outside markets. Some railway stations also have one book store.

Restaurant: Dining area is located in the waiting hall floor or the upper interlayer. You can find some fast-food restaurants like KFC, Mcdonald’s or Dicos and some Chinese restaurants which sell noodles, dumplings, steamed stuffed buns, etc. They are in a higher price than the outside restaurants as well.

Barrier-free Elevator: If you travel with kids or carry heavy baggage, don’t worry, because barrier-free elevator is always available. No matter you need to climb the upper waiting hall or get down to the lower boarding platform, you can take a barrier-free elevator.

Baggage Deposit: If it’s far from your departure time and you want to walk around, you could deposit your baggage in Left Luggage Office. The charge varies on different railway stations – some charge you according to the weight and some according to the number or volume.

Inquiry Counter: There is an inquiry counter in every railway station. Some staffs are able speak simple English and you can turn them for help when you encounter some problems.

Business Class Lounge: There is at least one business class lounge in every railway station. If you book a Business Seat, you are able to wait in the business class lounge where the environment is much quiet and there are some snacks and drinks provided. Some railway stations are equipped with business class access which allows you reach the platform directly and you needn’t queue up to cross the checking gate.

Smoking Area: If you are a smoker, go to the smoking area when you need. The smoking area is generally equipped near the toilets in the waiting hall. In most railway stations, the English sign will lead you to this area.

Porter Service: Many Railway Station offer Paid Porter Service. The porter are called Red Cap (小红帽) because they were red cap and waistcoat. They can help you carry your luggage from the station hall to your carriage of your train, or from the arrival platform to your car or taxi. This service will be charged differently according to different railway stations.

Chengdu East Railway Station

LED Screen in Chengdu East Railway Station

Chengdu East Railway Station

Free Charging Plugs in Railway Station

Shanghai Railway Station

Dining Area in Shanghai Railway Station

Chengdu East Railway Station

Left Luggage in Chengdu East Railway Station

Chongqing West Railway Station

Business Class Lunge in Chongqing West Railway Station

Chongqing West Railway Station

Red Capped Porter in Chengdu East Railway Station

Frequently-used China High Speed Railway Stations

There are several cities enjoying large amounts of travel resources (both natural and cultural) and operate large numbers of high speed trains. These train stations are frequently-used. Check the Details

  • Beijing South Railway Station
    Beijing Railway Stations

    Beijing has five passenger railway stations and three of them operate high speed trains, including Beijing South Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing Railway Station. Beijing South Railway Station is the most important one operating 383 daily high speed G-trains and C-trains.

  • Guilin Railway Stations
    Guilin Railway Stations

    There are three railway stations in Guilin, including Guilin Railway Station, Guilin North Railway Station and Guilin West Railway Station. Guilin Railway Station and Guilin North Railway Station are much closer to the downtown area and operate more high speed trains.

  • Huangshan Railway Stations
    Huangshan Railway Stations

    There are two railway stations used for passengers in Huangshan, including Huangshan Railway Station and Huangshan North Railway Station. Huangshan North Railway Station was newly-operated in 2015 and it operates high speed trains only. It is the joint and vital node of high speed rails to Huangshan.

  • Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
    Shanghai Railway Stations

    There are four main railway stations in Shanghai, and only Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Shanghai Railway Station operate high speed trains. Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, adjacent to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, is more frequently-used and it operates 505 daily high speed G-trains and D-trains.

  • Hangzhou Railway Stations
    Hangzhou Railway Stations

    Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province and an ideal tourist city where the world-class West Lake is located, has 4 mainly used train stations, including Hangzhou East Railway Station, Hangzhou South Railway Station, Hangzhou Railway Station and Yuhang Railway Station.

  • Chengdu Railway Stations
    Chengdu Railway Stations

    The major stations in Chengdu are made up of Chengdu East Railway Station, Chengdu Railway Station (also called Chengdu Railway Station by locals) and Chengdu South Railway Station. They all operate high speed trains but Chengdu East Railway Station is the main railway station..

  • Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station
    Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station

    For the convenient connection with mainland China by bullet trains, Hong Kong also has constructed its first and only high speed railway station in its downtown area. The train station is called Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus (香港西九龙总站) and lies at the prosperous Tsim Sha Tsui area.

  • Xian Train Stations
    Xian Railway Stations

    Located in central China, Xian is one of most important transportation hubs of railways. Among Xian’s three major railway stations, Xian North Railway Station is the only high speed railway station. It operates daily high speed trains to many cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing etc.

  • Chongqing Railway Stations
    Chongqing Railway Stations

    There are six railway stations in the city of Chongqing and there are three high speed railway stations, namely Chongqing North Railway Station, Chongqing West Railway Station and Shapingba Railway Stations. Chongqing North is the most frequently-used one.

How to Choose the Best Railway Station

As we know, there is more than one train station in one city, so it may happen that two or more railway stations in one city operate available high speed trains to two or more railway stations in another city. But how the best railway station for you? There are several factors you can take into consideration.

  • Frequency. The train ticket can be booked 25 ~ 30 days in advance and passengers are suggested to book your tickets ahead of time. If it's a last-minute decision to take a train and you want to book the ticket in the railway station, choose a train station with more available trains.

    E.g. Both Chengdu East Railway Station and Chengdu Railway Station operate high speed trains to Chongqing, but Chengdu East operates 20 trains and Chengdu Railway Station operates only 2 trains.

  • Location. Some railway station is located the downtown area while others is much furtherer. If you need to get to railway station from your hotel directly, choosing the closest railway station will save you much time. Similarly, if you want to leave after ending your city tour, choose a railway station near your last attraction. In general, the old railway station is much closer to the downtown area.

    E.g.1) Shanghai Railway Station is quite close some great attractions (like Nanjing Road, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, etc.) and it will be convenient to catch a high speed train in Shanghai Railway station after your Shanghai city tour. 2) If you just arrive in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and want to take a high speed train then, choose Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station instead.

  • Transportation. If you plan to go the railway station in rush hours (7:30~9:00a.m. and 5:00~7:00p.m.), you are suggested to take subway to the railway stations so that you can avoid the traffic jam. As a result, it is very important to choose a railway station which can be reached by subway. In fact, the most frequently-used railway stations are tend to enjoy more convenient railway station, like Beijing South Railway Station, Chongqing North Railway Station, Chengdu East Railway Station, etc.

    E.g. There are high speed trains from Chongqing North Railway Station, Chongqing West Railway Station as well as Shapingba Railway Stations. However, you can take metro Line 10 from the downtown area to the station hall of Chongqing North Railway Station directly.

  • Environment. If you have enough time to transfer to the railway station and long time to stay in the railway station, you can choose a newly-built railway station, which is likely to be more spacious, less crowded and equipped with more comfortable facilities.

    E.g. Most of the train station in Beijing enjoys good location and very convenient transportation, but Beijing South Railway Station is much larger and more comfortable to stay.

High Speed Train Tips

How to Book, Alter and Cancel a Ticket

There are many ways to book a train ticket, including booking online, booking with a travel agency, booking at the ticket offices in China’s Railway Stations, etc. For foreign travelers, you are suggested to book with travel agency so you won’t meet with the language barrier. A ticket can be altered at appointed counters in railway station to an earlier or later train. It is also available to cancel your ticket before the scheduled departure time. However, you might be charged with service fee. Check details>

How to Collect a Ticket

You need to good the Collecting Window of the railway station or the ticket agency to collect your ticket. If you want to collect your ticket in the departure day, we suggest you get to the rail way station 2-3 hours early. ItHow to Read a Ticket is best to collect your tickets as early as possible during the peak seasons (like in Spring Festival, Chinese National Day). Check details>

How to Read a Ticket

From the train tickets, travelers could see the departure time, departure and arrival train stations, train number, carriage number, seat class/number, passport number & passenger’s name, boarding gate, prices etc. Please pay specially attention to the departure How to Board & Disembark a Trainstation and make sure which one you should go. Check details>

Baggage Allowance

Traveling with a train, each passenger is permitted to take baggage in certain amount, weight and volume. Besides, some items are prohibited to be carried to the railway stations and the trains, like weapons, knives, live animals, etc. Check details>

Travel with China Discovery

China Discovery, with office in Chongqing, is professional in offering you a high-value Chongqing tour and Yangtze River Cruise tour. Moreover, traveling with us, you won’t need to worry about the complicated transfer. your local guide will meet you at the exit of the railway station and drive you to your hotels or attractions.

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