Train from Beijing to Shanghai

Schedule

Train From Shanghai to Beijing

Z14 19:00 6:58 with Dinner

Z22 19:07 7:05 without Dinner

Z6 19:14 7:12 with Dinner

Z2 19:21 7:19 without Dinner

Z8 19:28 7:26 with dinner

Train From Beijing to Shanghai

Z13 19:07 7:05 with dinner

Z21 19:00 6:58 without dinner

Z5 19:14 7:12 with dinner

Z1 19:21 7:19 without dinner

Z7 19:28 7:26 without dinner

Above information is in format of

Train code, Departure time, Arrival time (of the next day), Whether dinner is provided

A Picture is Better than Thousands of Words

Today, Wendy took the train (Z5) to go back to Shanghai. I take some pictures of the fabulous train.

Inside the train

The hall way of the new train. Look at the carpet and the nice curtain. You must be wondering whether it is a five star hotel. I did when I stepped into the train.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Wendy lying on her soft sleeper, expecting the wonderful trip with the luxurious trip. The sleeper is quite comfortable and clean.

© Jian Shuo Wang

A label can tell the quality of the room inside. Check what the silver plate of the WC implies inside.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The upper sleeper. There are four sleepers in cabinet. There are as much space as lower sleeper and it is easy to get onto the upper sleeper. It is about 20 RMB less expensive than lower sleeper.

© Jian Shuo Wang

I was surprise to see they also serve new slippers for passengers, similar to hotels.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The decent water pot appeared on the snow white table.

© Jian Shuo Wang

On the back of the door of the cabinet is a oval glass, reflecting the whole cabinet.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The label of the sleepers. Each sleeper is numbered with a unique number.

© Jian Shuo Wang

You can control the strength of the lights, the temperature, the wind of air condition, and the volume of the speaker (or turn the train background music off). There is also an red emergency call button.

© Jian Shuo Wang

There are about 10 such cabinet on a train cart

© Jian Shuo Wang

A fresh flower is placed on the table, making the trip more enjoyable.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Display board showing train status, your cart number and the availability of washroom.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The door of the train cart. After this door is closed in Beijing, the next time it is opened, it will be opened in Shanghai. There is no stops between the two cities.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Hot water is supplied at the end of each train cart.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Z5, leaving from Beijing at 19:14 and will arrive in Shanghai at 7:00 AM the next day.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The Train and the Station

Caution: The view outside remains dirty and crowded as before.

The Beijing station. The trains with code starting of “Z” arrive and depart in this station. If you are interested, there is a bigger station in Beijing – the Beijing West Station.

beijing.train-beijng.station.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The train waited on the platform and passengers get there by a viaduct and then go down to the platform.

beijing.train-train-at.platform.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The head of the new train. It seems every details of the train changed.

beijing.train-head.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The sign outside the train, saying “Shanghai to Beijing”.

beijing.train-label.of.train.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The windows of the train look just those windows of high office buildings of Shanghai. You cannot open the windows.

beijing.train-outside.cart.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

This picture was taken when I meet Wendy at the station at around 7:00 AM Saturday morning. It was very exciting scene – it looked so beautiful to see the train coming from the fogs of morning.

beijing.train-z6-coming.in.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

More about the Train

The price for Z5 from Beijing to Shanghai, lower sleeper is 499 RMB. The price should be something less than 500 RMB (but near 500 RMB) for most trains.

5 Reasons this New Train is Better than Plane

  1. Cheap.

    Compare the 500 RMB (clean-cut) and the 1130 RMB full price of a flight ticket! Although you can get discounted flight tickets at as low as 650 RMB, it is still higher. There is no airport construction fee for train (50 RMB), you usually don’t need to take taxi to take train. Both Shanghai and Beijing train station are accessible via Metro. To go Shanghai Airport, you have to pay at least 30 RMB (average. For me, I have to pay 76 RMB). To leave Beijing Airport, when you see the first exit of the Airport Express Way, the meter of the taxi already charged you 50 RMB. So, it is another 200 RMB difference in price.

  2. Save Day Time.

    You go to train station after work at 6:00 PM, sleep on the comfortable sleeper and when you open your eyes again, it is 7:00 AM the next day, exactly the time to go to office of another city. Wonderful! Many business man take train to travel between Shanghai and Beijing not because it is cheap, it is because it saves day time.

  3. On Time.

    Trains are not always on time, but they are much better than planes. I never expect plane to be on time in China. Did you know that the last time I came to Beijing on delayed flight of 4 hours? The reputation of flights is terrible. Trains are much more reliable.

  4. Save Hotel Fee.

    If you put the one hotel price into consideration, you save a lot. Often, I wonder, why I have to be so rush to airport, take the fastest vehicle (civil vehicle) and rush to a taxi, just to go to bed of the hotel. :-D

  5. More Private Time.

    On plane, you cannot use laptop (freely) and it is too short to read a novel. The 12 hours on train give passenger right time to think, to read or simply to sleep.

This entry is posted in Beijing.

Update September 23, 2007

Three years after I posted this entry, let me refresh some information. The following information was extracted from Nick Sung‘s comment made on September 23, 2007.

Ticket price for bottom sleeper (adult): 499 RMB

Ticket price for upper sleeper (adult): 479 RMB

Ticket price for upper sleeper (children): 337 RMB

On Z-train (shown in picture of this article), there are only 4 bed room, and there are no 2-person rooms. 2-person rooms are available only on T-train (another type of train connecting Beijing and Shanghai), and the price is 900 RMB per person.

What Nick heard about Z-train is cleaner should be true since Z-train is newer launched, and should have higher standard.

Toilets? Please refer to Nick’s comment, which I think is very true.

The train is generally clean and comfortable. All of the pictures and comments above are accurate. However, the bathrooms become a challenge. Each car has a small washroom at the front with 2 small sinks. Also, each car has 2 toilet rooms at the rear. The right room has a standard toilet while the left room has one of those “kneeling” units which is basically a hole in the floor. The bathrooms all start out clean, but as the trip wears on, the men tend to cover the toilets and floors with urine and spit. Even so, these are still 100X better than the train station bathrooms as they were complete disasters. Remember, China is still a developing country with many uneducated peasants. Cleanliness is no consideration for most locals. But i’m sure this is the best train you can get in this country.

Nick also described the meal and hot water:

There is plenty of hot water available but you need your own cups and napkins. Almost everyone brought a bowl of instant noodles with them. They did sell little “lunch box” meals for dinner and breakfast you could eat in your cabins. They were surprisingly good. Car #9 is the dining car with a little bar area. We had dinner one night and the food was very good. However, it was crowded and you have to share your table with other people, also, they ran out of several dishes early. They served dinner from boarding until 9:30pm when “midnight snack” time started. I think breakfast started at 6am. Overall, an enjoyable experience much cheaper than flying and saving a hotel stay each night.

Thanks Nick for sharing the first hand information with us, and helped me to make this page more helpful for travelers in China.

229 thoughts on “Train from Beijing to Shanghai

  1. The train looks crisp and clean, not bad. I think trains must look like this in the future, have additional comfortability, wireless Internet (satellite?) and such luxurious if they want to compete with aviation. Here in scandinavia flying nationaly is often cheaper than train, taxes included, and considering how much time is saved the trains are looking emptier and emptier. A 10 hour train trip takes me one hour by flight and the cost is around 300-400 RMB (youth ticket, below 26 y.o.a.). A train ticket can cost anything between 400-1200 RMB. Not bad in an otherwise expensive region (Sweden). Low-cost airlines are giving the giants are real fight for their money.

  2. Wonderful! Did she have the whole sleeper cabin to herself, or were there other people in the remaining three beds? I think that would be fine if you were traveling with people you already know, but a bit of a worry if you were sleeping in the same small room with three strangers.

  3. i wish the train we took would look like the one you took when i took my two young kids last year on the train from shanghai to nanchang hoping for a good experience. i was wrong. that train was still like the ones i took 20 years ago when i had to spend more than 30 hours on the trains from beijing to nanchang!

    i tried to book the ruanwo, but didn’t get them.

  4. Maybe I’ll select train but not plane for my next trip to Shanghai.

    Thank Jianshuo for this article.

  5. Travelling with strangers is just par for the game with Planes Trains and Automobiles. Sleeping in that seat/bed can hardly conscientiously be considered sleeping per se, much less sleeping with strangers, plus remeber that red emerrgency thingy, thoughtful aren’t they? The fact that there are four total strangers in a small space actually might make everyone sane (or insane depanding on which way you look at it). If you worry about an insomnia attack, don’t, the melodic vibes of the train cures mine every time.

    This is not unlike airplane travel where you constantly sit with strangers. If you feel like talking great, otherwise you can just shut off to the neighbor(s), be it a Mr. Gates or any other SOB. Just don’t let you sit next to Wang Jian Shuo, though. So on a second thought, have some prozac handy, or asprin.

  6. Good points, bigbro, especially about sitting next to a WJS ;-) I haven’t traveled on an overnight train since I was a small child, so my experience is a little rusty, but that one sure does look cushy and comfy!

  7. Mr. Wang, the pictures are very impressive, and I’d like to ask you that is there any one cabin with only two beds, in other words, if my wife and I take a trip from Beijing to Shanghai with privacy in mind, can we get one single cabin with only two beds, or otherwise, we have to purchase two additional tickets in order not to have some stranger(s) sharing the cabin with us.

    As I recalled we took an AmTrak from Los Angeles to Seattle many years ago, there was two-bed cabin available for us. Of course, it is much expensive, the train named “coast star-light”. I think it is more conveniant and relaxed way to travel. Any way, it is a great work. I love those pictures.

    Thanks for your service.

  8. I heard there are two person or even one person cabin with private toilet, TV set and electronic power supply. It is about 1000 RMB single trip…. I am definitely not sure about this. I just heard it but didn’t take it.

  9. The first one should be Z14, I guess. The naming convention is that the trains leave Beijing are in odd numbers, and those who arrive Beijing are in even.

    Just my 2 cents.

  10. very nice! I remember I took the train from BJ to SH during my college time. It’s such a bad experience for me. Now it looks much better and clean(of course you pay more than a seat price). I haven’t taken long distance train for quite some time. But would like to try while looking at your wonderful pictures. thx.

  11. This train looks really really smart – centre to centre by train is often the most relaxing and effective solution to airtravel.

  12. I am 3 people traveling in October (high season) to shanghai

    What is best way to book a train from Shanghai to Beijing to Xian and back to Shanghai?

    The trains look great just hope I can book on these

    Andrew

  13. hello Mr. Wang

    thnx for that helpful information for the train Shanghai-Beiijing which my chinese friend Greg and me have planned to take beginning of October ’04.

    Best regards from Munich

    Stefan Fritsch

  14. This is a great site with lots of useful information. I followed the link http://www.shz-shrail.com but it’s only in Chinese. For someone like me who cannot speak Chinese, how can I book a train ticket from Shanghai to Beijing? Thanks, Melvin.

  15. hi, great sight, iam also interested in booking train , does anyone know of a english version of the chinese website.

    cheers

  16. My husband and I recently took the train from Shanghai to Beijing. It was our first time in China, and our first experience with Chinese trains. It was extremely clean (even the WC wasn’t too bad). The entire train is quite luxurious. The compartments are small but really nice with soft warm quilts, and although the compartment sleeps four, if you book lower bunks, and the train is not too crowded chances are you won’t have any company on the upper bunks. Our Chinese friend purchased the tickets for us, and we had the compartment to ourselves. The nice thing is there is a locking door, so you can lock it while you are sleeping, or have it locked for you while you go to the dining car. It’s not totally private, though. Be aware that the attendants have the keys to the compartments, so chances are you might be interrupted at any time. For instance, someone came in to our compartment during the night to retrieve a quilt from an upper bunk. But we thoroughly enjoyed this mode of travel. It was very comfortable. We even slept well, and the food in the dining car was very good. For the price, you can’t beat the train, and it saved the price of a hotel for one night.

    I understand the Shanghai to Beijing train does not have compartments with only 2 bunks, but these can be had on the Kowloon to Beijing train, and they come complete with private toilet. Am I correct?

  17. There are different carrige types, I saw ont eh Train from beijing to Hefei that the soft sleep cabins have LCD TVs!

    We tookt eh SH to Beijing train too, it’s nice, but hte most memorable thing is the menu in the dining car – “The Oil Explodes the Shrimp” was the first course LOL!

  18. Does anyone know if the train goes from Beijing to Harpin. If we are already that far north we thought of going to the ice festival.

  19. hi there,

    i’m a backpacker travelling from nepal(katmandu)to shanghai and want to go straight up to beijing. could you please advise me of what the best thing to do is?do you arrange accomadation in shnaghai and if so what is the starting price?the above train sounds fab, what do i need to ask for?

    i await your response

    thanks

    sarah

  20. We will be visiting china in April/May 2005. We are looking to take the train from Beijing – Shanghai and Shanghai – Kowloon. Have you any update on your travel Blog for trains ?

  21. Thank you for your informative site. It’s a real pleasure to read actual experiences rather than the official ones. I will be visiting in March 05 and will definely take the trains !

    Now I need to read all your other information.

    We are travelling from Santa Barbara, CA.

    James Chen

  22. wonderful site for those of us interested in Maglev trains and train travel in China. Found you thru Slate.com

  23. i’m considering taking a train ride from Shanghai to Beijing in July but I don’t know how much the ticket will cost for a soft sleeper. I heard that there’s local and foreigner fares for the trains. Is it true? I’m a chinese from Singapore, and can speak Mandarin, but it sure doesn’t sound like the locals’ mandarin. Can i pass off as a local and get cheaper train fares?

  24. Thanks for all the information about this train!!!!!

    Does anyone knows the name of the station in Shanghai where this trains depart?, and also, wich is the name of the company?….in order to go there and book a ticket as the web page is in chinese.

    thanks a lot!

  25. What a wonderful website you have!!! I am a 53 year old American lady. Our family lived in Shanghai for 3 years 1997-99. I enjoy returning to China to see how things have changed. I also enjoy studying Chinese history, so I enjoy China’s historical sites. I am so excited because I am returning to Shanghai and Beijing at the end of this month (Oct.) and have booked the train from Shanghai to Beijing rather than flying. It was great to read about your train-riding experience. Also, I’m staying at a Chinese Bed and Breakfast on Mao’er Hutong in Beijing, which should be an incredible experience–such a historic place! I’ll let everyone know what it’s like when I get back!

  26. Hi Wang,

    Your website is interesting with pictures of China’s latest train, I am trying to purchase train tickets from Shanghai to Beijing.

    How and where can I do so as I have try to get this information from Malaysia’s local travel agents but fail as most of them told me that their local agent in Shanghai does not offer such service!!

    Please help!!!!!

    Jennifer Lim

    Malaysia

  27. Super train with super service and environment. A more clean train is difficult to see anywhere else! We travelled from Beijing to Shanghai and had booked excess baggage through train cargo. This also arrived at the same time and was delivered directly at our hotel. So convenient if you do not want to carry around a lot of baggage with you.

  28. Thanks for this useful info on trains in China. Can someone advise how can I purchase return train tickets from Shangai to Beijing. I will be on a business trip to Shangahi from the UK in April 2006. My main intent of going to Beijing will be to visit China Wall and come back to Shanghai to catch the rtn flight to the UK.

    Renu

  29. My dear Jian

    Thanks for the information and pictures on the Z trains between Shanghai and Beijing. You have persuaded me that is the way to get from one to the other city. Good pictures. Are there singles or doubles in addition to the 4 bed sleeper compartment? I will be docking at Qingdao in late September. Can we make reservations in the US? Is there a website I should be looking at to answer these questions? Tnaks again for your help.

    Ken Mueller

  30. In response to Ken Mueller’s question – here is the link to the website: http://www.china-train-ticket.com. Tickets can be purchased from the US if you so choose. The deluxe soft sleeper ($165 USD one way per person) is a two person berth. My boyfriend, his family, and I have booked tickets for March 20th from Shanghai to Beijing in the two person berths after reading a fabulous write-up in Conde Nast Traveller printed last Fall.

    Hope this helps,

    Alex

  31. P.S. You can travel from Shanghai to Beijing or vice-versa. It is a daily service departing each city at approx. 6 pm, arriving in the other at approx. 8 am.

  32. Hi Jian,

    I checked the prices at http://www.china-train-ticket.com. Wow, I thought the prices would be a bit cheaper than this, 108USD (125.384 CAD) for one way ticket?????

    I can buy a airplain ticket in Canada for Bejing to Shanghai for 660RMB(including the taxes) (95.2054 CAD). Are these guys for real???

    Is it possible that the ticket will be sold for cheaper price within China?

  33. Hello,

    Thank you for this information.

    Would you know if we could book the sleeper so that it is only occupied by two people?

    My wife and I are quite private and would like to take the train from Shanghai to Beijing but would prefer a private sleeper.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    John Mitchell

  34. What a great blog! Thanks for sharing. Have you ever taken the train between Shanghai – Beijing during the day? Any idea whether that is a nice train ride (e.g., interesting view, comfortable seating)?

  35. Hey! Thanks for the info. It really gave me a pretty good idea of what the train’s like. I was wondering if there are any later train rides departing from Shanghai going to Beijing, or does it only depart at 7pm? Is 500rmb the cheapest train ticket price?

  36. Do the 2 berth sleeper overnight trains to Shanghai from Beijing have a private shower or do you have to go down the corridor to communal one?

  37. Thank you Mr. Wang for maintaining this weblog.

    I have lived in China for about 5 years in several cities and after experiencing the old green Chinese trains that are smoky and so slow, I always chose air travel. I now live in Shanghai and after viewing the pictures and description here, I decided to book a train trip to Beijing. I went to the Shanghai Rail Station at about 3pm on Friday, April 21, 2006 and booked 2 tickets on the Z14 train to Beijing departing just a few hours later. There is no longer a ‘foreigners’ ticket window at Shanghai Station, but anyone wanting to book a soft seat or sleeper ticket can do so inside the ‘Soft Seat Ticket Office’. If you were walking into the main entrance, this would be on the left about 50 meters (on the outside of the station). It is a large office with a place to sit in front of the ticket agent. This will save time and there is always someone who can speak at least basic English.

    I travelled with another person and we booked our soft berths in a 2-person compartment. The entire train is composed of soft sleeping compartments (no ‘seat only’ tickets). This applies to all ‘Z’ train lines, apparently. The train has 18 cars, but only 2 of the cars have 2-person compartments. I have read online that only the Z13/14 and Z21/22 trains have the 2 bed comparts.

    The prices that Wang Jian gave for the 4 -person berth ticket is still correct. We paid 893 RMB (lower) and 921 RMB (upper) for our tickets. The train arrives at the main Beijing Station. Since we were returning from Beijing on Monday the 24th, we bought the return ticket upon arrival in Beijing. There is a soft class ticket window on the front of the station, but he attendant did not speak English. There is also a large ticketing hall. If you speak some Chinese or have a Chinese friend with you, then no problem. Otherwise, you should probably ask your hotel to book the tickets for you.

    There is a large waiting hall for soft class passengers on the first floor, but the Z trains depart from the middle concourse on the second floor. Be aware, the old station is downtown. It is called ‘Beijing Zhan’ and it is an old building. Although it is equipped in a modern way, there is an extreme bottleneck at the main entrance at popular departure times because x-ray machines are adjacent to the entry doors and all luggage/packages must go through. As usual in China, there is no single line (queue), so a person must simply ‘ride the wave’ and seize every opportunity to squeeze further into the mass of humanity toward the door. You should plan to arrive at least an hour before the train is scheduled to leave, in my opinion. We did not face this difficulty in Shanghai, which has several entrances around the station building.

    We had checked out of our hotel, but the train didn’t leave until 7pm and we didn’t want to carry our heavy bags around for the day. Luggage storage is available at an all-day rate of approximately 7 RMB per piece. Although there is an official storage room on the front of the station (far-right side as you face the building on the outside), there are also several smaller stalls nearby. Someone may try to take you over to one of these (the official storage personnel will not do this). We went to one of these small competing storage places and were quoted a price of 30 RMB for 3 pieces of luggage. Thinking this was too expensive, we went to the official one which was 20 RMB.

    The Beijing Station area was quite pleasant. Gone are the days of rundown buildings and drifters camped out. Although there were some beggars and people trying to promote local hotels, we were not bothered much. There is a large shopping mall adjacent to the station. It has several restaurants including a KFC and several noodle shops. Also there is a Watsons Drug Store and many other places you would expect at a mall. The mall is attached to a very large Howard Johnsons Hotel. The gift shop of the hotel opens into the mall and sells baked goods. After 5 pm, everything is buy 1 get one free. We got 2 pieces of delicious apple pie for 5 RMB each. The line 2 subway stops in front of Beijing Station.

    I have a brochure about the express trains. I’m willing to scan it, but I don’t have a place to post the pictures. Anyway, here are the station points for the ‘Z’ trains (all of them leave around 7pm and 11 pm, averaging about 150 km per hour. The Shanghai-Beijing trip is 1.463 km (914 miles) and takes almost exactly 12 hours. Here are the cities served. The first number is Beijing (or Tianjin) to the other city; the second number if from the other city to Beijing (or Tianjin).

    (Z1/2, Z5/6, Z7/8, Z13/14, Z21/22 Beijing-Shanghai) : (Z3/4 West Beijing-Hankou) : (Z9/10 Beijing-Hangzhou) : (Z11/12 West Beijing-Wuchang) : (Z15/16 Beijing-Haerbin) : (Z17/18 West Beijing-Changsha) : (Z19/20 West Beijing-Xi’an) : (Z29/30 Beijing-Yangzhou) : (Z37/38 West Beijing-Wuchang) : (Z41/42 Tianjin-Shanghai) : (Z49/50 Beijing-Nanjing) : (Z61/62 Beijing-Changchun) : (Z72/73 Beijing-Hefei) : (Z85/86 Beijing-Suzhou)

    I don’t have fare info on these routes, but they should not cost more than the Beijing-Shanghai fares described already.

    Sorry for such a long reply, but I hope it will help someone. Thanks.

  38. Just thought of more:

    The 4-person compartments share communal toilets and lavatories at 1 end of each car. Even the the 2-berth compart. cars have the public toilets, so if 1 is occupied, you should be able to walk until you find a vacant one. The lavatories have 2 small wash basins and no door, so you might be brushing teeth with another person at the same time.

    The 2-person compartments have a small washroom with a basin and toilet. There is no shower, although if you are adventurous, you would use a bowl or cup to dish warm water from the tap and pour it over your head, since there is a drain in the floor. Pillows, sheets, and blankets are provided, but there are not wash cloths or bath towels. Toilet paper and toilet seat covers are provided. Surprisingly to me, the toilets empty on to the train tracks even in these new trains. If it is daytime and you flush the toilet, you can see the ground below. The toilets do have water flowing in them, though, and they do not smell bad. There are no showers on the train.

    Smoking is allowed in the corridors between cars. The sleeping compartments have doors, but if you are sharing with strangers, you may find that someone wants to keep the door open until bedtime. In that case, smoke could drift inside. This is true in the 4-berth cars because, but the 2-berth cars have electronic doors that seal off the main hall from the toilets and space between cars. There was no cigarette smoke in our car during either trip except in corridor (outside the sliding doors).

    There are many other trains between Shanghai and Beijing. They are a bit slower because they stop along the way, taking about 14.5 hours (instead of 12). These are much cheaper and have hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper, and soft sleeper tickets. In theory, smoking on these is also limited to corridors, but the trains are not sealed and often compete with a crowded bar for smokiness. They also tend to be worn, and fairly unclean by most international standards. On a very tight budget they are the tranport of choice, though.

  39. I’m going to Beijing frm Shanghai on 22 may 2006 . Do u think i will be in time to buy train tickets if i buy train tickets on the spot on 18th May in shanghai station ?

    Is it dangerous for 1 lady to travel alone in the train ?

    Thanks

    Ros

  40. SOrrie just one more question.

    How to go to the mission impossible shooting location in Shanghai? where the last scene TOm cuise to save his wife?

  41. Ros, you can safely get your ticket on May 18. It is not dangerous at all. Train in China is not good (I thought before) but Wendy said it is much better, and safer than trains in Europe.

    I didn’t watch the MI3 yet. I heard it is at Lujiazui 陆家嘴. You can take Metro Line #2 and exit at the Lujiazui Station. People told me the final scene is shot at China World Financial Tower. You can see it right after you get out of the metro station.

  42. Hi Jian,

    I am going to China for the first time, and have a few days free. While I will be in Shanghai on work, I really want to visit Beijing and the forbidden city as well.

    I came across your blog while searching for trains / planes between Shanghai and Beijing. Can you help me out with any information on how to book train tickets, etc.? And is it possible to visit the Forbidden City in 1 day? Is there anything else you would advise me to do / see while I’m there?

    I would really appreciate an email in response,

    thanks!

    Progga

  43. Lonnie, thank you for your post, it is really helpful to first-time travelers to China, like me. Quick couple of questions: would it be safe for a single woman to travel in the hard-seat section alone? and would tickets be cheaper to buy in China, like someone else also asked?

    Thanks,

    progga

  44. I took this train this Saturday at 19.07. It was very nice indeed. I arrived at the station in Beijing 20 minutes ahead of departure, but just made it to the train. This is because there is a line to a security check at the entrance, and because it is difficult to find your way to the train. Once I was on second floor, I could not find one single sign in English. No one could help me, until some guys helped me and dashed through the station in high speed. I ended up tipping them 100 yuan because I have never been so happy of getting help – had I missed the train, I would not have my day in Shanghai but would have had to go directly to the airport in Shanghai.

    The moment I stepped on the train was like in Matrix, moving to another planet. From the India messy like train station in Beijing to an extended part of modern Shanghai. That feeling continued as I arrived at the clean station in Shanghai and when I used the metro (there is a second precision count down display above the tracks and the train opened its doors 2 seconds before 0). Quite a difference from biking in the Hutongs of Beijing, which I did a few hours before taking the train! The personel on the train is slightly too cool but correct.

  45. Hi I am thinking about taking my family (me, wife & 2 daughters 4, 10) on the train from Hong Kong to Shanghai and then onto Beijing, do you think it would be fun for the girls ?

    And is the Z8 a newer version than the Z5 and do they have these from HK to Shanghai ?

    Thanks

    Darren

  46. Hi.. just a few questions. I will be a single traveller on the Shanghai – Beijing and vv. Z train later this month. I will have my big backpack with me. Just wondering if there is a locker in the compartment (i will probably travel on the 4 soft sleeper) – or will i have to “sleep” with my backpack? Whilst i would have padlocked my bag up i still don’t feel safe with it just lying around while i sleep.

    Thanks for the info.

    Also,

    I arrive on the 23rd, want to take a train on the 25th – should i book in advance?

    (found this website: http://www.chinatripadvisor.com/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Itemid=47)

    costs a bit more – but worth the peace of mind …

    thanks again.

    Tim

  47. They don’t have locker. Take care of the luggage yourself. I think it may be reasonable, since I just heard the saying “false sense of safty is worse than no safty”. I don’t think it is easy to have safe lockers on trains.

  48. Great site. Do you have any information on quality of overnight trains from Beijing to Xian and from Xian to Chongqing? I’m hoping for 2-berth compartments and the same quality as from Beijing to Shanghai.

  49. This site is fantastic.

    Does anyone know if the Deluxe Soft Sleeper compartments have electrical outlets that can b eused to recharge computer batteries? (An earlier post said the single person compartments had TVs and power outlets. It was unclear if this was also true for the 2 person sleepers.)

  50. I took the overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing a few days ago and can confirm there are 220 volt power outlets in the deluxe 2 person sleepers. I also noticed several people charging computers in the aisles as there are also power outlets there. I don’t know if this was because the 4 person sleepers don’t have outlets or they were just being courteous to the others in the compartment.

    Warnings:

    1. When you arrive by taxi at the Shanghai station, several porters will grab your bags from the trunk of the taxi before you know it and then try to charge you up to 50RMB per bag to take them to your gate. They are very aggressive and intimidating. Just take you own bags and you can easily find your way to the gate without their help.

    2. The train ride is cost effective, but somewhat noisy and cramped quarters, but still semi-comfortable. I would do it again, but now will set lower expectations.

    3. When you get off the train at Beijing – expect a mass of people. It seemed to me that 20 trains must have all arrived at the same time.

    4. There are attendants at the exit of the train station that wanted to see your ticket and would tear them to indicate you had left the station. I didn’t have my tickets handy, so I just walked past the attendant. She didn’t seem to want to mess with an obvious Westerner and let me go.

    Final note – the Shanghai famous shopping market has been shut down, but the shopping in Beijing is still fantastic with bargains everywhere.

  51. I took the 24 hour train from Beijing to Hong Kong. This train was similar to the Shanghai to Beijing train with the following exceptions (details are for the Deluxe 2 person Soft Sleeper cabins):

    1. No power ports in the cabins. There are two outlets in the hallways – directly across from beds 3/4 and 11/12. I had beds 5/6 and my Dell power cord just barely reached my cabin and allowed me to watch DVDs in my cabin throughout the 24 hour period.

    2. They sell food from carts and have a dining car.

    3. You are leaving China to go to Hong Kong so you have to go through customs at the Beijing West Station. This is located to the right side of main entrance hall. Instead of going into the main hall, do not go into the building but stay outside and go down to the right until you see the Customs entrance.

    4. The beds in the 2 person sleepers are both lower berths (no upper berths) and no private bathrooms in the cabin. This is a better arrangement than the Shanghai to Beijing train since it provides a much more spacious environment. Going down the hall to the bathroom was not a problem.

    Travel by train takes a little more time and is a little cheaper than air and saves a night of hotel cost. If I ever do a vacation to China again, I would likely repeat the train travel.

  52. I am planning to take the Z train from Beijing to Xian on Oct 18. I’ll be arriving in Beijing on Oct 13. Anyone know what are the chances of getting the 2-sleeper compartment tickets when I arrive or should I arange to book the tickets from outside China (Australia)? And what will the 2 sleeper/compartment tickets cost?

  53. It’s great to read all the messages about getting on an overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing! My son and my

    2 grandsons 10 &11 yrs intend to do just that in the later part of September 06.

    I think it will be a great experience for all of us. We are

    quite confident after reading all your messages so that we

    now know what to expect etc. Hope we are lucky enough to get a 4 berth cabin to ourselves. I will get on to it as soon as I arrive in China in the begining of September.

    Can you advise us how to book a reasonably priced, and fairly central hotel (2-3 stars rating would do) in Beijing for about 2-3 nights? Thanks! Lily Hsu

  54. Dear sir/madam !

    I would like to travel by sleeping car from beijing to shanghai

    as below:

    07aug06:beijing-shanghai

    10aug06:shanghai-beijing or 10aug06:shanghai hong kong

    please quote your rates and if there is a special rate for airline- staff

    thank you and best regards

    Gershon Mashiah

  55. Your web site has been a great help, thank you Mr.Wang!

    I am hoping someone can help answer 3 quick questions -

    We will be taking the overnight Z train from Beijing to Shanghai around Oct. 10th, can you tell me when the national holiday is? I am wondering if we will have trouble booking train tickets.

    We are a family of 4, when we book the tickets how do we guarentee we are all in the same soft sleeper cabin?

    Last question, we will each have a large suitcase – is there a service to check these in elsewhere on the train?

    Thank you again for your help. Without your web site we probably would have flown and missed out on this experience.

    Regards,

    Shelley

  56. I would like to hear about the trip from Shanghai to Beijing.My intention is to take my wife and two 13year old girls,if anyone has any advice I would to hear from you.

  57. Just got back from china and took the 2 person soft sleeper beijing-shanghai and back on the z13/14.

    Highly recommend the 2 person just for a peace of mind to get away from the masses, but it sounds like the 4 person isn’t too bad if you’re a little more adventurous. the cabins had a funky smell, probably because the bathroom is right next to the sleeping area. it is interesting to read that yes, they dump the toilet waste right onto the tracks. i thought i saw daylight down there! i bought our tickets on http://www.chinatripadvisor.com, for $134 usd one-way each. so, basically, they add a $30 service charge to buy the tickets and then deliver them to your hotel a day or two before you leave. on our shanghai-beijing return, we were just coming through shanghai from suzhou, so we didn’t have a hotel where they could deliver the tickets. we were told to pick them up at their delivery office, and that was no problem, as it’s an easy 15 minute cab from the main bus station in a main area of shanghai near the shanghai center. felt a little like amazing race. they also had great follow-up when i had questions regarding purchasing the ticket via paypal.

    since all beds are assigned (i didn’t know this until we got on the train since i couldn’t read the ticket), there’s no reason to join the insane mass of people trying to go through the line when they open up the train in beijing or shanghai. just wait till it clears out as your bed is reserved. in beijing, on the ground floor to the right is a soft-class only waiting area which is a little less crowded than the humid/hot general hard-class waiting area up by the pllatforms. and yes, arriving in beijing, there is a giant mass of people all at once, so perhaps, wait a little when you arrive for everyone to get through.

    sorry for a long reply. the previous comments were so helpful for me, i thought i’d share some more.

  58. hai to all chineese people,

    you people really rock! iam from india, i use internet to see the development of your country in the infrastructure arena, its mind blowing. china now have magnetic levied trains which mark a top speed of 430 kmph. whereas in india, the top speed of the train is only 150 kmph(max.). moreover the facilities you provide in the trains are more than a 4 star hotel treatment in india. its really cool ,continue your progress………… as a indian iam jealous about the development of your country.

  59. Hello i must say like alot of people have i’ve found this site very helpful but i have a question, i’ll be in shanghai mid october and would love to see the great wall but whats the quickest route from beijiing to actually setting foot on the wall or would i be better off going by plane.

    Yours thankfully, Marlon

  60. Is this train different than what is sold online at china-train-ticket.com?

    They show the train number as T14 & T22 and they say they will deliver to your hotel just a little bit in advance?

    Are tickets easily available anytime? are trains not full?

    sorry for so many questions :-)

  61. I & my BF just have a wonderful trip of Shanghai-Beijing-Xian-Suzhou. We decided to use train for travelling & it make us really happy – happy for this trip :)

    We took soft sleeper, low berth, Z14 from Shanghai to Beijing. They also served us delicious dinner with one set of bread & fruit. I’m the kind of people who scared for dirty toilet. But in this train, I considered it as acceptable. The train had arrived on time at Beijing.

    After we spent 3 days at Beijing, we took soft sleeper, low berth, Z19 from Beijing to Xian. The train is a bit better than Z14 since they provided individual TV set each berth, but no meals offer. We spent two days there.

    Since the train ticket from Xian to Suzhou cannot buy in advance at Shanghai Train Station, so we need to book ticket at Xian. Finally we can get only hard sleeper, which make us a different experience & feeling. Not too bad lah!!

    This is what our travelling plan by train.. How about you?

    I plan to travel by train again by November… It was great memory for Thai people like us for China train (especially Z-category).

  62. The Z trains look nice. Are the T trains just as nice? I’ll be taking a train from Shanghai to Beijing on or around 10/10. Which station in Shanghai do I go to, and how many days in advance do I need to get the tickets?

    Very nice site, btw, I’ll be reading it more in the future.

  63. T trains are not as good as Z trains. Z is the best and fastest train in China. You may also expect good train and good serve on T, but much big difference between the two type of trains.

    You don’t need to buy the ticket too many days in advance. Typically, you can get a ticket the same day or the previous day, if it is not in holidays.

  64. Hi,

    First, Jian Shuo Wang, this is a great source of information! Thank you for keeping this up!!!

    My family and I (4 people) are hoping to travel from Suzhou or Shanghai to Beijing on 10/26 and return to Suzhou or Shanghai on 10/30.

    My main questions are:

    1. We want to get on the Z trains (cleaner, newer, more comfort–we will have our 3 1/2 yr. old son) what is the best Z train to book for Suzhou/Shanghai to Beijing and Beijing back to Suzhou/Shangai?

    2. We need a 4 bunk room, do the 4 bunks have doors that lock?

    3. Do all 4 bunk cars share a communal bathroom? Or do the 4 bunks have private baths?

    4. Another person on another forum suggested bringing bed bug spray…honestly that suggestion freaked me out!! Are the trains clean….are bed bugs something we should be concerned about?

    5. Is it best to buy tickets in China or online through a website?

    Also, if you have other suggestions please feel free to share!

    Thank you!

    Amanda

  65. What a great source of information on the trains.

    It convinced my wife and I to travel via Z train in November to Shanghai. We actually had our hotel in Beijing do the booking for us.

    I have a question though. We are travelling on the Z5 and it suggests that it is with Dinner. Do you have that in a Dining Car or in your compartment? What would the dinner consist of?

    Thanks

    John

  66. I am going to China in December and I am trying to book the train tickets right now. I am not sure of the hotel I would be staying in until I get there that day off the plane. Is there a way to order the tickets online or by telephone and have them shipped to where I am in South Korea? OR are there any other options for me? Can I pick them up at the train station?

    Any information you have would be helpful

  67. Kara, there is no realiable service that I know to deliver train ticket to you. I suggest you to get the ticket on the window on the day of travel instead of ordering online.

  68. I have a breathing machine to help me to sleep at night (Sleep apnea). I plan on taking the Z19 overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an. Does the hard sleeper or soft sleeper compartments have a 220 volt plug available so I can plug my machine in at night?

    This is a wonderful site…great pictures and loads of information. Thank you.

  69. Hello Jain,

    I am with Air Canada and will be travelling to Shanghai in January with my daughter and husband. We would like to take the train to Beijing on Jan 10th. Do you know if there is an airline rate? Do we have to book in advance for a soft sleeper? Can we get a refund if we can’t get to Shanghai as we are on standby with our airline? I would appreciate any info you can give me. Thanks you for you website. It is very informative.

    Donna Kyliuk

  70. Your articale is good and, because we travel from shanghai to Handzhou sevrel times for my business purpose and got the same experience. Again on DEC 21 i am coiming with my family to visit shanghai and beijing, if you have any tips to travel in beijieng please e-mail me.

    best regards.

    SUNIL JAIN

  71. We will traveling through China next summer (2007). This will be part of a RTW trip and we will have backpacks and BICYCLES. We plan to travel from Beijing to Lhasa with stop at Xian. And then travel to Moscow on the Trans-Siberial (Silk Route) with multiple stops. Does anyone know the process for bicycles? We plan to travel in sleeper compartments…can we take bicycles into train and store under the lower berth? Is there additional fee?

    And since we will be going through Kazakhskan and Russia, any information on that area would be great.

    Thanks all!

  72. im thinking of taking train shanghai to beijing or the other way around purely to get a good look at the chineese countryside. is it worth the 12 hour trip and is one way going better than the other . which train do you recommend for this experience regards peter samios

  73. so many comment!

    and because i have little time ,i can’t see this clearly

    but when i see that there are may comments i say that abve!!

  74. Great website! Please excuse me but I am silll not sure if a person traveling alone can purchase the deluxe soft sleeper on the Z19 from Beijing to Xi’an for his or her self use. Is this possible? If so what is the approx. 1-way cost? Thanx all.

  75. Hi!

    On next march, we will travel to beijing. We want to visit also Shanghai.

    Whant can be the fare for 2 poeple from Beijing to Shanghai go and back?

    Where we can buy the tickets and how long before the travel ?

    Thanks for your useful informations and your blog.

  76. Nosrat, you can buy the ticket either in hotel or at the train station. It can be purchased at any time before the departure time, if there is still ticket available.

  77. Hello. I will be travelling from Beijing to Xian May 15. I would like to get the deluxe softsleepers. Should I buy the train tickets when I get to Beijing 3 days before or should I pay $116 per person using http://www.chinatripadvisor.com? We are really on a tight schedule and we have to get on that train…

    Thanks for all your info.

  78. Judging from the pictures, looks really comfortable and clean; I will be travelling on the exact Z train going from Beijing to Shanghai during the Chinese New Year. Two years ago, I had to taxi the same route, I was exhausted after the “expedition” and I had to pay 750 RMB.

  79. Wow. 750 RMB? That must be long long time ago. Currently, if you use the expressway, the toll you pay at each station will be much more than that, not to mention the taxi driver’s charge. I would say, that must be above 1500 RMB.

  80. Hi Jian,

    I know you receive alot of questions like this. But I still need to confirm it to you.

    Which is better, to book though an internet or directly (around 2-3days before departure).

    Me n my husband plan to go to Beijing from Shanghai.

    Thx alot

  81. my family and i are going to shanghai soon and we would like to take the train going to beijing. id like to know how much does the tickets cost? and what is the earliest and latest time the train leaves? and also, where and how could we get the tickets? and what is the easiest way to get tickets? can we get tickets on the airport?

    thanks a lot!

    all the best,

    ady :D

  82. We (family with 2 children) are leaving for Beijing in March, taking the overnight train to Xi’on and then on to Shanghai. Any advise on getting to Shanghai from Xi’on ?

  83. Hi,

    we (my wife and I) will go with an economic train (or some wath economic) from beijing to shanghai. what could we do?

    Best Rigards

  84. Hi,

    I will be travelling to Shanghai in a few weeks and I was curious about the best way to book tickets from Shanghai to Beijing (return). Am I okay to book them when I arrive. we arrive in Shanghai on the 12 and want to travel on the 17th.

    What do you recommend?

    Thanks

  85. My wife and I will be in Beijing this July with our daughter. We will be spending 4 days in Beijing then plan to take the train to Shanghai, where our daughter will spend 2 weeks. You state that the train fare is 500 RMB for lower bed. Where can I find the site to book that fare ? The site I look at http://www.china-train-ticket.com shows that the fare is 88 $US or more like 682 RMB. And while we are in Beijing, do you know or recommend a guide for us, since we don’t speak Chinese. Thanks much

  86. I’m so thrilled to have found this site after scanning Google for several hours looking for decent information about trains on the Beijing-Shanghai-Xi’an and back routes. All the maps I had seem suggested it wasn’t even possible.

    Z trains look great, I’ll be making the trip in November. It’s going to pain me to do so but I think I’ll have to pay the extra to have a hotel book the tickets for me… am I chicken for not wanting to risk buying at the station?

  87. Thanks for the pictures, the Z’s look really clean and smart, but I’m sorry, an overnight or multiday train without showers really sucks. Even Amtrak has showers in their (very nice) duplex sleepers.

    I want to take that Lhasa train to 16,000 feet! Contributions strongly welcomed!

  88. A friend and I were planning to take the Z Train from Shanghai to Beijing in late May, and to book a deluxe soft sleeper. When I went to chinatripadvisor.com to book the trip I was told they do not have the deluxe soft sleeper anymore on the Z train. I heard from another source, and it was confirmed from chinatripadvisor.com that the T110 goes between the two cities (takes about 13.5 hours rather than 12) and has the deluxe soft sleeper. But, you can only book tickets the day before departure.

    So, it appears my choices are:

    1. Book a soft sleeper (sleeps 4) at 79 US$ on the lower berths on a more modern, faster Z train and hope no one books the upper berths and book it 20 days in advance or

    2. Book a deluxe soft sleeper (sleeps 2) at 137 US$ on a less modern, slower T train and book it the day before we travel.

    Has anyone beek on the T 110 and have a recommendation about which way to go?

  89. hi, LOVE this website, its so hard to find information about Chinese stuff, I’d like to book, 2 deluxe soft sleeper tickets, for the overnight from beijing to shanghai, a 2 berth cabin, on a Z train, which i believe are the best most modern trains, do you know if the z trains have 2 berth cabins, failing that whats the second best kind of train that has 2 berth compartments

    thanks

    James

  90. Good train, but nothing special or wonderful. very regular to European or US standards. Happy that China has something good. Go ahead China this way.

  91. Hi,

    We are taking the train from Xi’an to Beijing in June and are planning to book the delux 2 berth soft sleeper. I am a bit worried about smoke – as I am asthmatic. We emailed a company and were told that they were non smoking but I see above that someone mentioned people smoke in the corridor – if this is the case and no windows can be opened are the sleepers smoky??

    Thanks

  92. Have a question about train travel between Beijing and Hangzhou:

    -What will be our best bet: Z9 or T31

    -According to the website selling tickets, Z9 does not have 2 person soft sleeper, only T31 does

    -Is the Z9 mort comfortable then the T31 ?

    -Or is it better to take the Z13 and take a taxi from shanghai to hangzhou…?

  93. It will be a first trip for my family this summer in shangahi but we are planning a gateway to beijing just for a weekend.After reading this exterme experience that all other travellers had, I think we will also plan train trip. Since we arrive on Saturday Morning in Beijing train station –Are there any local bus tours staright from railway station that we can join ? Are there any standard rate/no luxurouios/non-expensive hotels for [1 night] near by the railway stations ? Can we check-in to Htoels that early in the morning – where we can take showers and dump the luggage and then take tour/sight-seeing.? ALso looks like chinatripadvisory.com

  94. Hi,

    Thanks fo rthe GREAT information . I am travelling for an international congress in Beijing departing from Hong Kong . I want to take the train between Beij and Hong Kong but want to stop ove rin Shanghai for few days , is there a service which provides this” stop over ” ? or should I book train from HongKong to Shanghai and then from Shanghai to eijing ? I am not sure if there is a train from HK to Shanghai but I know there is a Z train from Kowloon to Beijing .

    Can you please, provide me information about this soon,

    All the best,

    Mo

    Egypt

  95. After I posted my May 8 question above, I discovered there are discount tickets for children. So, I booked a room for 2 adults and 2 children for $280, about the cost that the Deluxe Soft Sleeper cost for 2 people before they discontinued it. Since there were only 2 of us travelling we could use the extra space for storing luggage (very important since there is VERY little room, and could have the attendant lock our compartment when we went to the dining car (we were on the Z 14).

    Some other details about the logistics are important for first time riders:

    1. The soft sleeper lounge is in the right side of the west side of the train terminal. You should enter the terminal there or you will need to go through security twice (as we did) and get a bunch of puzzled looks.

    2. While the signs on the train shown in the pictures above are in English, there are no brochures in English (e.g. indicating when the dining car is open for service).

    3. The announcements over the public address system are not in English, so we really did not know what was going on.

    4. There appear to be 16 sleeping cars on the train. We were in car 1. The dining car was car 9 (and I am guessing there were 8 sleeping cars on the other end of the train as well). We found it a little bit of a pain to maneuver around people sitting on the fold-out seats in the aisle that are outside many of the compartments on each car, as we made our way to the dining car. If you care about this situation, you may want to try to book a compartment nearer to the dining car.

    5. You will need to track down the attendant to have them lock your door. For us, it was the same person who checked our ticket as we entered the train car. However, she was not able to be free to lock our door (and allow you to go to the dining car)until after the train was underway, as she was still checking other people’s tickets. This was not apparent to us when we first got on since she spoke very little English, but it was apparent from recounting what had happened after-the-fact.

    6. Breakfast starts at 6 AM. We thought it would be much earlier, since the train arrives in Beijing at 7:00 AM. So, we got up at 5 AM to get cleaned up and watch the countryside as we approached Beijing. We found the staff was sleeping in the dining car at 5:30 AM!! You have a choice which includes Western style breakfast.

  96. We are trying to book a two sleeper soft train from Shanghai to Beijing on the 8th July 2007.

    How do I go about it. If no 2 sleepers are available what is the best alternative.

    How secure is your luggage on the train?

  97. Hi

    I’m planning to take the train from Beijing to Shanghai 15 August evening, coming back 20 August evening. I am trying to get tickets through an agency and will post a further comment. if I manage to get them.

  98. hi… i have a group who will be having their tour in Shanghai & Beijing. I’d like to know how much is the train fare from Shanghai to Beijing… Hoping to hear a positive reply from u soon.

    thanks

    hazel

  99. My wife and I took the Beijing to Shanghai night Z7 train soft sleeper last Wednesday night, July 18/19. Our hotel bought them for us and agreed that the train is usually not full because the tickets are expensive. So we didn’t buy the top bunks (we decided it was worth the risk to save $100). The cost was 500RMB each, 1005RMB total including 5RMB delivery of the tickets to our hotel. So, it was about $132 total.

    The train station, Beijing city central, was busy and bottlenecked at the entrance. Our train left at 7:44pm and so we arrived by taxi at the station at 6:44pm.

    The train was very full. Every compartment had at least four people. We saw groups of six or more in some compartments. So if you gamble on having a compartment to yourselves during a weekday night trip, you may find that an increasing number of people are buying the soft-sleeper and, as it seemed, even sharing bunks. I spoke with the attendant for our car when we boarded and then again just before, and then ten minutes after, we left the station. She explained that every bunk was sold and that every one got on the train, so we couldn’t buy our upper bunks or swap out.

    We shared a four-bunk compartment with two college age Chinese guys. They were polite, sat outside the compartment to eat their McDonalds food and mainly played on their PSP’s. They kept to their upper bunks until we arrived in Shanghai. So although we didn’t have a private room, we were fortunate to have polite roommates and a nice attendant.

    We brought our own food and drinks. But we tried not to drink much because the bathrooms were, from the start, in poor condition and busy.

    We’ll fly next time, to have similar or better cleanliness, even with Air China, and a much shorter trip. If we had to take the train, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy the private double.

  100. Hi David

    The plane is sure faster, but only once you are in it … (Air China has a record of 3 hours delay on avareage) plus airport taxis, checking-in 2 hours ahead . . But I supose it is cleaner

  101. FWIW, the through train to Hong Kong from either Beijing or Shanghai have two-person compartments that sells for about HK$1k per person (single fare). They’re just like the soft sleepers sans the upper bunks.

  102. Hello – where do you store you luggage while on the train ?

    Thanks for your help I have large bags with me.

  103. There are places below the bed or at the head (on top of the entrance door). There are also some extra place during the hall way (inside the train). So it should be enough for most travelers. If you do have extra large bags, as long as you can carry it on to the train, I think you should be OK to find a place. You can also ask the train attendant to help you out.

  104. I will be travelling with my hubby and 2 kids (5,9) in dec 07. I like to try the D train (bullet train) from Beijing-Shanghai. My hubby experience on trains in china is like what David had just posted. But I like to travel by train. Can anyone give me an account of the bullet train ? I would like convince my hubby. Cheers

  105. Hello – is there some type of lockbox to secure passport and wallet during the night ?

    Another traveller mentioned bathroom were dirty – is this correct from your experience ?

    Thank you for your reply.

  106. @David, I don’t think there are such lockbox. You can lock the door if you are in private room. For the bathroom, the Z train is pretty good – in my standard, however, everyone has its own standard, and can tell different story for the same thing. Maybe the best thing for me to do is to take a picture and let my readers judge whether it is good or bad.

  107. Self and wife travelled soft class sleeper on the Z13 from Beijing to Shanghai on 4th August – exactly the right thing to have done! The 5 reasons given above are absolutely spot on, as is the price at RMB 499 (less than 35 GBP each)

    A few observations to help future travellers. I bought the tickets at Beijing main station 5 days before travel, at the -quote- “CRH Harmonious ticket office”, which is located externally down a passage on the west side of the main building. There is a window marked “Tickets for Foreigners”, but still no English spoken or understood! I had written down our requirements in big clear letters, which was eventually understood, and tickets issued! – Very satisfactory! The ticket office on level 1 (which is the ground floor) in the corner of the soft class waiting room was not open. The latest Lonely Planet guide also makes this observation.

    Even though you can wait in the soft class waiting area, our particular train departure was not called on the electronic boards – you need to find the platform yourself in the main level 2 (first floor) platform access concourse, and then join the scrum!! – Chinese people do not queue well! Once on board, all was well, and just as shown in the Z train photos above. Arrival and departure times were spot on.

    We ate in the restaurant car – RMB 100 for two people including a beer each. Breakfast I think was RMB 20 each, delivered to your compartment – stick to the Western choice! We did not find a lock box in the four berth compartment, but had no trouble accommodating 2 medium/large suitcases together with hand luggage. There is storage space under the lower bunks or at head height above the carriage corridor, which will take a bit of lifting/lugging to use. One of us being on the short side, we just used the end of the bunk!

    Our two upper bunk co-inhabitants were very pleasant, and were no trouble, although there is inevitably luck involved. I don’t think the deluxe soft sleeper double compartments are currently available on the Beijing-Shanghai route – we couldn’t see any after looking up and down our train. If you really don’t want to share, buy all four bunks in one compartment – check they are in the same one! It’s still cheaper and more convenient city centre to city centre travel than the plane.

    I hope these observations are helpful and reassuring for future travellers – if you think intercity sleeper is for you, and you have a spirit fro adventure, then go for it, We are glad we did.

  108. we are travelling to beijing on 24 sept ,we cant book the z train for xian 2 berth on net in advanced ,so what can we do?can you tell me what is possibility ?

  109. 9/23/07 We just completed the round-trip from Shanghai to Beijing and back. We took the Z14 train there and the Z13 back (although it was the exact same train). We traveled with 3, but wanted privacy, so we bought all 4 beds in our compartment both times. Y499 for each bottom bunk, Y478 for one adult top and Y337 for a child top bunk. They no longer print a brochure for these trains. Also, the ticket agents said that all the Z-trains only offer the 4-bed soft sleepers. 2 person soft sleepers are only available on the T-trains for about Y900 per bunk including a private sink (no toilet). But we heard that the Z-trains were cleaner, faster and more luxurious. We booked both trips about 5 days in advance and many trains only had top bunks available. We had to adjust our dates to find trains with 4 open bunks in 1 cabin.

    The train is generally clean and comfortable. All of the pictures and comments above are accurate. However, the bathrooms become a challenge. Each car has a small washroom at the front with 2 small sinks. Also, each car has 2 toilet rooms at the rear. The right room has a standard toilet while the left room has one of those “kneeling” units which is basically a hole in the floor. The bathrooms all start out clean, but as the trip wears on, the men tend to cover the toilets and floors with urine and spit. Even so, these are still 100X better than the train station bathrooms as they were complete disasters. Remember, China is still a developing country with many uneducated peasants. Cleanliness is no consideration for most locals. But i’m sure this is the best train you can get in this country.

    There is plenty of hot water available but you need your own cups and napkins. Almost everyone brought a bowl of instant noodles with them. They did sell little “lunch box” meals for dinner and breakfast you could eat in your cabins. They were surprisingly good. Car #9 is the dining car with a little bar area. We had dinner one night and the food was very good. However, it was crowded and you have to share your table with other people, also, they ran out of several dishes early. They served dinner from boarding until 9:30pm when “midnight snack” time started. I think breakfast started at 6am. Overall, an enjoyable experience much cheaper than flying and saving a hotel stay each night.

  110. Hello – I am looking into “T” train from Shanghai to Beijing.

    I would like 2 person sleeper and I understand it is not available on Z train.

    Any comments on T train are appreciated.

  111. Im going to Shanghai this January, and we are planning to also go to Beijing from Shanghai. How much is the fare in the Z-train now? is RMB 499 a one -way fare?

    Do you have available website for the Z Train? can we do online booking?

    thanks,

    aris

  112. me and my 2 friends will be going to beijing via shanghai january next year. we are planning to take the Z-train. when we checked with the chinatripadvisor.com, they are charging $83 or almost US$20 dollars more than its real price (499 RMB = US$66). my officemates will be going to beijing also via shanghai and i’m thinking that we just ask them to buy our train tickets for us so it will be cheaper. can we do that? although i read in one website that you need to present your passport when buying the ticket at the train station and that Z train tickets only open 10 days in advance.

    any advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated. thanks.

  113. We are a family of 5 that would like to travel from Beijing to Harbin on Jan 2008. I have read there are only compartments for 4 people in the soft-sleeper Z trains. Is this true? If we want privacy- does this means we have to buy 2 compartments of 4 beds each?

    Does the compartment have their own toilets?

    Thanks for your help

  114. hi guys,

    Ive checked some online sale – Train tickets and found that z trains now sells at $83USD?

    Is this true? based from previous posts, z trains cost only around $66USD.

    Im from the philippines and would like to purchase the tickets ahead of time. thanks for any help.

  115. Hello, everyone.

    What are the alternatives to the soft sleeper? Are the hard sleeper and the soft seater bearable? Does anyone know the prices?

    I know that the hard seater is hell.

  116. in response to Vladimir

    http://www.seat61.com/China.htm#Beijing%20-%20Shanghai

    i was doing some googling tonight to get a better idea of the price and such when i came across this website. it looks decent, so hopefully this will be some help to ya.. ive never been to shanghai but i will be when my bf i and leave for china in dec for our vacation. if anyone got tips on where to go, where to eat in shanghai, pls fill me in~ thanks =D

  117. in response to Vladimir

    http://www.seat61.com/China.htm#Beijing%20-%20Shanghai

    i was doing some googling tonight to get a better idea of the price and such when i came across this website. it looks decent, so hopefully this will be some help to ya.. ive never been to shanghai but i will be when my bf i and leave for china in dec for our vacation. if anyone got tips on where to go, where to eat in shanghai, pls fill me in~ thanks =D

  118. we will be going to shanghai on January 9… and planning to go to beijing also.. but we are planning to buy the train ticket on the day itself… do you think tickets will be available that time?? i heard that it was an off peak season… would that be enough reason to buy our tickets on the day itself??? thanks…

  119. o.O im coming back to the states on the 9th! i told my mom (she’s in beijing right now) about the ticket situation to shanghai and she said its best to reserve them 5 days ahead of your departing date.

  120. can anyone tell me where we could book the train ticket??? i find booking online very expensive… we are thinking to request our hostel to book for us… but they will just do that if we were already staying in their place… do hostels/hotel can easily get the train ticket?? if we will book one day in advance,, do you think,, tickets will still be available??? thanks..

  121. I want to travel from Beijing to Shanghai about a week latter.Please send me the Schadual including Timings, Fare, with or without dinner full detail.

    and when should I reserve the ticket.

    Thanks in Advance.

    ayaz.

  122. can anyone tell me where we could book the train ticket??? i find booking online very expensive… we are thinking to request our hostel to book for us… but they will just do that if we were already staying in their place… do hostels/hotel can easily get the train ticket?? if we will book one day in advance,, do you think,, tickets will still be available??? thanks..

  123. @mary jane, some hotel can help you to arrange train tickets, but not all. Generally, one day in advance is OK for many trips, but not for the hottest trips. Where are you going?

  124. our first destination is shanghai… then we will be going to beijing… then back to shanghai…. via train… we will arrive on Jan 10…. we are planning to buy ticket for the same date… Jan 10 also but last trip… we will be staying in beijing for 1-2 days…

  125. Hi Jian Shuo,

    I’m looking to to get tickets from beijing to shanghai on the sleeper bed like the one Wendy is relaxing on (the photo). could you please let me know how to get those tickets from Australia?

  126. Hi! are the prices you’ve listed for single trip or round trip? I’m planning on going to Beijing and was wondering how much would the tickets be Shanghai-Beijing-Shanghai. Thanks.

  127. hi sir jian…. what would be the weather in shanghai and beijing during january?? what is the temp?? is there snow??

  128. I just did the Z14 train from Shanghai to Beijing. I ordered the tickets 10 days prior to departure online from chinatripadvisor.com. The cost was $ 85 US , delivery to my hotel in Shanghai included , on time as promised. The cost was $ 20 US over what the actual ticket price -definelty worth the extra cost for the service. I would recommend that you specify if you want a Upper or Lower Bunk when making reservation.

    Train departure was 7:00 pm , I arrived at 6:00 – waited in the crowded Soft Waiting Lounge a bit and boarded about 6:30. I was travelling alone and shared my cabin with 3 other people – they didn’t speak English so I hit the bar. The cabin was clean , all pictures above are very accurate. The bathroom was a little raunchy by morning. I did have a nice dinner on the train.

    There is only room for 1 large suitcase in cabin under table. A few other slots for small bags.

    This was a cool way to get to Beijing. On at 7:00PM off at 7:00AM – nice and easy.

    Make sure to get a taxi with a METER at the Beijing railway.

  129. Hi,this is a very nice site.Thanks JSW.I am from the UK and have travelled on the Z trains and T trains between Beijing and Shanghai, also on K, D(Bullet) trains and plain number trains. There are about 10 a day listed..I have a few points to make.1) Before asking a question, why not scroll up and down this blog, because many of the questions being repeatedly asked are already answered.Example:the Beijing Shanghai fares! 2) If you are travelling soft sleeper,there is not much difference between Z and T, once you are in your compartment, and every time I have travelled, the compartment has been spotlessly clean. 3) what has not been mentioned is that the BJ/SH sleeper trains depart and arrive at convenient times for passengers to have some dinner aboard, watch a little tv,get a good night’s sleep and have a wash and if they like, breakfast before arrival. That is why there are several around 7pm that arrive around 7am. They are quite capable of going faster, (and some do during the daytime), but who wants to be arriving in the middle of the night? 4) Some Z trains serve a free dinner in your compartment.I know the Z13/14 do, and there are free snacks already on the table when you enter.4) Someone said better stick to the western meals in the dining car. Well, many of the people asking questions here are from other Asian countries, and might like to try western food. Hahaha, But not surprisingly, most Chinese cooks seem better at Chinese food, and that is good on the train too.) 5) As has been said above several times,the compartments DO lock, but don’t try calling an attendant before the train departs, because they are busy getting people into their compartments.6) Someone said they saw extra people crowding into a compartment.Not true. Passenger seats/berths are all reserved. What you probably saw was ‘hard’ berths, which have 6 beds, not 4, ( and are not really hard either!) 7) Someone asked whether a passport is needed to book a ticket. The answer is no, but you may be asked for it so the ticket seller can copy your name from it, instead of trying to guess what you are saying.8) Personal safety on Chinese trains. China is one of most crime-free countries in the world.There is no problem sharing a softsleeper compartment with others.No-one will steal your bags,and it is perfectly safe for a woman to travel on her own.Don’t forget, the authorities know who bought the tickets for all the passengers. Just take the usual sensible precautions.You can put your valuables out of sight in your pocket, or under your pillow.If you go to the dining car, take them with you.

    9) Buying train tickets.The only way to buy them outside China is through agents who don’t do it for free. Some are very expensive. If you are staying at a hotel, you can ask them to buy your tickets. There will be a modest fee for delivery.however, it is easy to buy your own tickets too.At Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station there are still special ‘foreigner’ counters with staff who speak English and some other languages.If you can’t find the place, ask at the duty station master desk which is just inside the station.They speak English too. Of course, if you get someone to write down the details,you can do what I do and join the shortest queue at the ordinary ticket windows.10) If you want to know about trains to/from Hongkong to Beijing and Shanghai, you can find the official information here.

    http://www.it3.mtr.com.hk/b2c/frmIndex.asp?strLang=Eng

    11) Someone asked about a reasonable central hotel in Beijing. I can recommend the Harmony Hotel. It is in a sidestreet not more than 100 metres from the front of Beijing Railway Station,and less than 50m from the subway.Cost is aaround $45 USD for a standard room that is quite big and well-equipped. Most staff speak good English.You can find it and book it on line through many agents. Here is one. http://www.asiahotels.com/hotelinfo/Harmony_Hotel_Beijing/

    12)Someone asked about a quick trip to the Great Wall on a short visit to Bejing.That is an easy one. There are lots of buses going to the Grat Wall at Badaling all the time.Bus time is about 1 each way.You can catch a local bus there from about 200m to the right of Beijing Railway Station.It says Badaling on the front in English and Chinese,and there are ‘barkers’ trying to fill up the buses.It only cost about US$2 fare, and stops as near as is allowed to the entrance of Great Wall, where there are lots of souvenir shops.There is a nice museum too.Other than that, the hotels such as the Harmony mentioned above, can all get you on a trip at short notice.If there are two or three of you, you could take a taxi, but agree the fare before you start,or get it from a hotel too A couple of hours on the wall is enough for most.You don’t need a guide.

    13)Lastly, someone asked about the January temperature in Beijing and Shanghai.Beijing is COLD!..down to -17C at night . you can look here. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/climate/beijing.htm

    Shanghai is warmer. around freezing at night,and cool 9/10C high, during the day.Look here

    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/climate/shanghai.htm

    You can find most other chinese cities through the above links.

    Now I have to get on with booking my ticket from Birmingham UK to Bejing for the last week in January.Then it will be the Z61 for the 1003 km north to Changchun(Soft Sleeper RMB352) 352…even colder than Beijing .. and after a week or so in Changchun, I will take a train further about 250km to Harbin for the Ice Festival….even colder.The K9 train takes something less than 3hours, for only RMB57 soft seat, or I may take the Changchun built D25 Bullet Train which takes just 1hr46min for RMB97.

    Hope some of this is useful to someone.

  130. After arrving into Xian from Beijing on this nice overnight train (which my friend and I plan to do on our first visit to China), is there a place at the train station or across at the bus station to leave luggage for several hours while we visit the terra cotta warriors? It would be a huge convenience and if anyone as insturctions and prices if avalaible, let me know!

  131. After arrving into Xian from Beijing on this nice overnight train (which my friend and I plan to do on our first visit to China), is there a place at the train station or across at the bus station to leave luggage for several hours while we visit the terra cotta warriors? It would be a huge convenience and if anyone as insturctions and prices if avalaible, let me know!

  132. I’m traveling with my wife in may from Shanghai to Xian to Beijing. Anyone knows how to buy tickets in advance and how can we get a exclusive sleeper for two ? Thanks !!!

  133. this site was very informative. My friend and I am planning to visit china during the olympics but we are not going directly to Beijing but instead going to Shanghai first. Since we are in a tight budget, we are considering taking a train going to Beijing. Do you have information about the hard and soft seats in the t and z trains? how much are those seats? how about the d-train? Hopefully you’ll answer my queries. Thank you!

  134. Very nice site, etc., and thanks for maintaining it.

    Can anyone comment on the LUGGAGE STORAGE possibilities at the station in Shanghai?

    I see this question has been asked before but have not seen a really helpful response.

  135. Hi,

    would it still be possible to buy train tickets (soft sleeper) at the station between 27th and 2 May 2008, 1 day in advanced?

  136. Would it be possible to buy tickets from ticket office still (Beijing to Shanghai) 1 day in advanced? I am looking to travel between 27th April and 2 May 2008. I am intending to buy when I arrive in Beijing…. Or would it usually sell out fast?

  137. your site is very helpful!!! i like it! we’re going to china on the 23rd of may but we’re staying in shanghai.. and we’re planning to go to Beijing to.. thank you for this informations! ;)

  138. can i catch any one of the following train from tianjin to shanghai as tianjin come in between baijing and shanghai, Z13 19:07 7:05 with dinner , Z21 19:00 6:58 without dinner , Z5 19:14 7:12 with dinner ,Z1 19:21 7:19 Without dinner ,Z7 19:28 7:26 without dinner. i will be travling in first weak of june, can i bay ticket on same day and travel.

  139. Hi, how can I book train tickets (on the Z train) for me and my daughter from outside China, travelling between Shanghai and Beijing and then from Beijing to Xian?

    I do not want to use an agent and pay expensive agent fees.

    thank you

  140. HI ,

    I am planning on a trip to beijing from shanghai with my kids and am lost at at all the different Z trains. Am am able to asume that although the train number is different , the train itself is the same as what is shown here ( in the photo ) ?

    thanks for answering to my question. cheers

  141. Hi- I live in shanghai and need to book a RT ticket from Shanghai to Beijing. Does anyone know the cost of a RT ticet? There will be 4 of us, so we would like a 4 sleeper, is that possible to reserve? Also, where can I book tickets? Thanks!!! :-D

  142. Hi,

    Is it possible for me to buy a ticket ( beijing – shanghai) 2/3 days before depart-day? And unfortunately, the depart-day will be on 1 oct’08.

    I am planning to buy the ticket on my arrival-day in beijing! what time the counter will close in daily time? please reply me. i need the information and the chances to get the ticket to shanghai! thanks

  143. Hi,

    Is it possible for me to buy a ticket ( beijing – shanghai) 2/3 days before depart-day? And unfortunately, the depart-day will be on 1 oct’08.

    I am planning to buy the ticket on my arrival-day in beijing! what time the counter will close in daily time? please reply me. i need the information and the chances to get the ticket to shanghai! thanks

  144. Hello! I will be going to Beijing, then after a week, will proceed to Suzhou. What would be the best way to go there?

    Because I am time-bound, is there a train going to Suzhou directly? Or a plane is more practical? Hoping for possible options on how to travel.

    Thank you very much in advance!

  145. Can someone show pics of T-train, and also discription of services compare to Z-train? Nick said Z is cleaner than T? but T cost more than Z, why is that?

  146. Hi all – I took the T98/T97 between Hong Kong and Beijing for the Olympics with my family: wife, daughter (8 y.o.) sons (5 and 2). I can say (about this particular T class):

    - toilets were up to or past French sleeper trains – perhaps not up to Swedish standards

    - compartments (soft sleeper) were fine containing:

    – power outlet inside the compartment (under the table at the window)

    – TV for each bed (with 2 channels only one of which worked most of the time; on the way back the sound only worked with the ones for the lower beds)

    - food was quite good – I had a whole fish for one meal and it was of good quality

    - staff were friendly and reasonably efficient

    - very little English is spoken – but you can make yourself understood

    - prices: (aprox) HKD 900 each way for adults, HKD 600 each way for children, under 3 y.o. free. It is somewhat cheaper at non-peak periods

  147. I’m planning to travel around Asia. My destinations are SHENZHEN-HK-MACAU-SHANGHAI-BEIJING. What is the cheapest and safe transportation i can use?

    Thanks.

  148. I took the Z train from Shanghai to Beijing and back. It is fantastic. It ran perfectly on time. It was exactly as described in the article above.

    It was quiet and so very smooth. Take earplugs to block out the snoring of other passengers!

    Beer was 15RMB per bottle, I didn’t eat on board. There are 2 toilets at the end of each pair of carriages. One is a hole in the floor and the other a sit on. They do get a bit messy by the end of the journey.

    Remember to take toilet paper, soap and a hand towel.

    I would thoroughly recommend it and I would definately do it again.

  149. Hi, I decided to take the Z train from Beijing to Shanghai after reading your blog. But I am having a hard time trying to book the train tickets.

    I tried booking on-line, but they are charging a cut-throat price of US$120 for a soft-sleeper ticket on the Z train!! I also found out that booking with the local travel agents would also cost about RMB1200 per such ticket!! Please let me know how I can get the train ticket at a more reasonable price, like not more than RMB50 extra per ticket.

    I am arriving at Beijing on 15 Dec 08 & plan to leave Beijing for Shanghai on 18 Dec evening. I am travelling with my 65-yr old mom, a 15-yr old son, a 14-yr old son, a 9-yr old son & a young lady friend 20+ of age. I need to know for sure that I have the train tickets to Shanghai as early as possible so that I can then book domestic flight air tickets for the 6 of us to fly from Shanghai to Shenzhen on 21 Dec 08 morning.

    Please help, really need info desperately. Thanks very very much

  150. Hi, I decided to take the Z train from Beijing to Shanghai after reading your blog. But I am having a hard time trying to book the train tickets.

    I tried booking on-line, but they are charging a cut-throat price of US$120 for a soft-sleeper ticket on the Z train!! I also found out that booking with the local travel agents would also cost about RMB1200 per such ticket!! Please let me know how I can get the train ticket at a more reasonable price, like not more than RMB50 extra per ticket.

    I am arriving at Beijing on 15 Dec 08 & plan to leave Beijing for Shanghai on 18 Dec evening. I am travelling with my 65-yr old mom, a 15-yr old son, a 14-yr old son, a 9-yr old son & a young lady friend 20+ of age. I need to know for sure that I have the train tickets to Shanghai as early as possible so that I can then book domestic flight air tickets for the 6 of us to fly from Shanghai to Shenzhen on 21 Dec 08 morning.

    Please help, really need info desperately. Thanks very very much

  151. Hi! I’ve been reading the comments and some of them are very informative. Thanks to John from the UK, everything made sense after I read his post. :)

    I’ll be traveling to Shanghai and Beijing from Manila in January and I’m glad to find out about Z trains! Thanks to the owner of this blog!

  152. This blog is quite educational.

    We will be in Shanghai on Apr09,2009 and will fly to Beijing on Apr12,2009. We want to ride the train back but to different destination (Hangzhou). I need help on getting advance tickets for 2 persons for Train Z9 from Beijing to Hangzhou on Apr14, 2009.

    I understand that we can try at Beijing but we would rather get the tickets in advance to avoid urgency.

    Can anyone help? THANKS,

  153. Hi,

    I was going from shanghai to yiwu.. IN morning I have taken a train no. D685.. which takes 2:15 Hrs to reach YIwu.. it reached timely.. In return we have booked the train ticket by train no N458..we reached station yiwu well in time.. train was scheduled at 18:23 but I don’t know that why the inforamation center was showing 18:18.. finally we reached at our plateform on 18:12 .. where some other train 461 was on the scheduled plateform. The Train attendant asked us for ticket and she board us on the train inspite of we were showing that this may not be our train.. She was repeatedly telling shanghanian.. station name of shanghai south.. The train condition was pathetic.. we were to reach at shanghai south by N458 at 9:38 but we reached at 11:30 only due to the foolness of that lady ticket checker / Attendant.

    IN inside of the train.. no body knows english.. it was stinking.. the whole train.. I have seen the very bad shape of china trains..

    keep in mind no body is going to help you in china.. keep urself updated and do not believe on anyone

  154. I took a Z train from Shanghai to Beijing and then back from Beijing to Shanghai in early March 2009. I think the biggest thing to consider after reading all the posts here is that “your results may vary”.

    I went from Shanghai to Beijing on a Monday evening and bought the ticket 2 nights in advance. I bought the ticket from Shanghai to Beijing the day before departure, which was on a Thursday. Both times I bought the ticket from the train station and on both trips most of the lower berths in the soft sleeper cabins were occupied but I didn’t see a single person in any of the top berths, so it’s hard to imagine every cabin being full, some more than full, as was mentioned in one of the previous posts (unless of course it’s during a major holiday). I also don’t think it would be difficult to buy tickets a few days before departure as some mentioned here. Tickets aren’t available for purchase that soon before departure really (which is one of the reasons ticket prices are so expensive when bought online so far in advance, you’re paying them in some cases quite literally to ‘camp out’ to buy your ticket when it goes on sale).

    As of this post the cost is the same as mentioned, 499RMB for a lower berth soft sleeper on a Z class both BJ > SH and SH > BJ.

    Dinner was not served on Z14 despite it being listed on the ‘dinner’ list above. I do not recall my train from BJ to SH’s number but dinner was not served on that one either. Someone did come around in the evening selling breakfast for the next morning, but I passed.

    The Z trains looked the exact same now as they did in the pics above, from the upholstery down to the placement of the flower and hot water pot on the table.

  155. Hey!

    I am going to visit Shanghai and I´d love to see The Great Wall of China.

    Is it possible to visit The Wall in one day?

    For instance -night train to Beijing then visit The Great Wall and then (the same day) back by night train to Shanghai?

    How long does it take to get to the Wall from Beijing railway station?

    Thanks,

    Marcel

  156. It is at least very challenging to visit the Great Wall from Shanghai in one day, if not impossible.

    You can take the night train to Beijing, and take bus to the Great Wall – several hours, and get back to take night train back to Shanghai – that costs 1000RMB or more, and …. Well. I just think the idea is too crazy. I never heard of a plan like this.

  157. Thank you, for your reply..

    I´ve never been to China before, maybe thats why my idea sounds crazy. Infact I don´t a good overview in distances in China.

    So I would be very happy if you could suggest me some other alternatives

  158. I urgently need to know the following, We plan to take the Z7 from Beijing to Shanghai, we need to know if this train goes to your Pu Dong Airport in Shanghai, if not what is the exact name of the station in Shanghai does the train stop at, how far is it from the Pu Dong Airport? Can we take a taxi, as we have all our bags with us.

    This is our first trip, can we book a 2 sleeper compartment with smoking, my husband and I are celebrating of 25th wedding anniversary.

  159. Z7 just arrives at Shanghai Railway Station 上海火车站, and you need to transit to the Pudong Airport via Metro.

    Take Metro Line #1 toward People’s Square, and transit to Metro Line #2. Transit to Maglev via Long Yang Road Station.

  160. Hi …. I am planning to travel by Train from Beijing to Shanghai next month end……….. I have travel several times to China…..but never used train……..I want to know….What is the ticket cost for cabin with only 2 people arrangement………and I am only worried about safety of my laptop and language…….as I may sleep off and don’t want to end up in a mess………..any suggestion or is it fairly safe…..???!!!!

  161. hi, im planning an one month holiday in China for november: 10 days in Beijing, night train to Shanghai (now i know the price thanks to you people) for another 10 days, then train to Hong Kong and stay there for another 10 days – including 2 nights in Macau. Please, can you tell me which is the price for soft sleepers or delux sleepers Shnaghai – Hong Kong? im confused now after having looked at the official site of China trains for prices. thank you in advance. I found your site very useful. keep it up!!!!

  162. Dear anyone,

    Thanks for the really relevant info posted here. We are a couple with children that wants to visit China for two weeks in October and we would like to take a train from Beijin to GUIYANG, Guizhou. If anyone has some info on the quality of those trains (like the t87) I would really appreciate it. We hate to fly so the train solution is optimal for us. If you have any other suggestion let us know please. We are going to be there with our three children (9, 5, and 3yrs).

    cheers

    Aaron

  163. Hi your blog is really nice. I am a photographer by profession and I specialise in Eclipse Photography. I intend to visit China for the Total Solar Eclipse which is scheduled to take place in July this year.

    For people like me who do not know much about China this kind of blogs help a lot.

    Your photos are also really good. I liked them a lot. Right from the stations to the berths on the train you have covered everything so well. Great work.

  164. Hi your blog is really nice. I am a photographer by profession and I specialise in Eclipse Photography. I intend to visit China for the Total Solar Eclipse which is scheduled to take place in July this year.

    For people like me who do not know much about China this kind of blogs help a lot. Do mail me if possible. Thanks.

    Your photos are also really good. I liked them a lot. Right from the stations to the berths on the train you have covered everything so well. Great work.

  165. We took the Z21 train from Beijing to Shanghai last May 28,2009. Generally the train is clean and comfortable. Pictures posted above are still pretty much the same as to the present condition of the train. Our tour guide got us tickets the day before we left and it cost us RMB499@. We were a family of 5 (hubby & I, my 18,12, & 3 yrs old sons)but we stayed in 1 cabin only w/ 4 bunk beds-though we got 5 tickets we did not use 1 bunk bed…our choice. As for the bathroom-upon reading blogs, we got to use them before everyone else does – so got no problem about that. Storage for big and small luggages were no problem too-big ones goes on top front of the upper bunks, small ones goes under. Some of the hassles we’ve had: 1. announcements/reminders were not translated in English so we had no idea what’s happening around- asked them to speak in English – they shut the door on your face and walk away. 2. The line when boarding – God they were really, really, rowdy and rude!!! There was a line at first but when the gate opened everybody just came rushing in, pushing, stepping on your feet, shouting in your ears, running you down w/ their luggages – and to think everyone has each own reserved bunks, so they the hurry??? I would suggest that it will be better if you let the crowd settle in first before plunging in- train leaves on time so check the schedule.

  166. Thank you so much for the info! I’m visiting Shanghai in July and I hope to take this train to visit Beijing! Can you recommend any English speaking travel companies as I would like to book hotel in Beijing, and tours. Thanks :).

  167. Hi, many thanks for the info posted in your blog. It a pleasure to read you. I’ll be visiting Shanghai soon and do not want to follow the typical tourist path. I would love to see and understand more about the country, so the train will be my choice. Any nice villages around SHA you recommend to visit? Any practicalities I should consider in order not to be unrespectful with people in general but particularly out in the country side?

    As per shops in SHA I might need to have some clothes made (depends on my activity …suits and shirts) do you recommend a place, respected and respectful? I am not paranoid about tourists being ripped off but have been travelling so much around the world that don’t get surprised any longer with different manifestations of human conduct. Any advice will be nice. This is my first time in SHA.

    Many thanks. Toni

  168. Hi

    I have a question? Plz tell me do u have any student ticket if i want to travel from Beijing to Shanghai.

    Thanks

    Majid

  169. They discontinued Z trains between Beijing and Shanghai, so only D trains are available now, with hefty price tags of 655 RMB for top bunk and 730 RMB for bottom bunk. It’s a shame since it’s basically about the same price as flying (if not more if you do bottom bunk).

  170. Which trains running the Beijing>Xian route and Xian>Shanghai route offer the deluxe 2 berth cabins? On another website someone indicated that these 2 berth 1st class cabins may have been discontinued, is this so? Also, if not, approx. what would be the costs per route? Lastly, I travel w/ one large suitcase that generally is too high when laying on its back under the lower bunk (so the bed does not lay flat) where would I put this w/o inconveniencing other passengers? Thank You

  171. Arriving in Beijing on Nov 6.

    Would like to take the ‘soft’sleeper’ train from Beijine to Sochou and return.

    Does the Z train or the T train travel there, and which is better.

    Which one includes deluxe soft sleeper for two persons, and what is the cost?

    Is is OK to buy the tickets in Beijing for travel on the 7th (next day).

    Thank for your early response.

  172. Corrections to my earlier posting to avoid confusion:

    Arriving in Beijing on Nov 6.

    Would like to take the ‘soft’sleeper’ train from Beijing to Suzhou and return.

    Does the Z train or the T train travel there, and which is better.

    Which one includes deluxe soft sleeper for two persons, and what is the cost?

    Is it OK to buy the tickets in Beijing for travel on the 7th (next day).

    Thank for your early response.

  173. Wow, more information than I thought I needed. AWESOME SITE. I did not think it would be necessary to bring your own cup and toilet paper etc. so thanks to all who’ve been there and posted. I will be going to Hanzhou with my mother in September and plan to take the Z train to Beijing. I saw that there is a morning train and an evening one and am wondering if it is worth it to take the morning one? –is there a view out the window throughout the day or do you recommend we take the night train and get up early to see the view in the morning?

    Thanks, XY

  174. Could you please send me the site in english for booking a sleeper from Beijing to Shangai. Thankyou

  175. Hi i wanted to find out the price of deluxe soft sleeper for 2 persons travelling Beijing to Shangai

  176. Got all the information I needed from your site, without asking a single question. Thanks.

  177. I am going to Hong Kong first. I expect to stay ther 3 o 4 days. Then I want to go to Shangai by train. After 3 days in Shangai want to go to Beijing v¿by train too.

    I need information about trains from Kong Kong to Shangai also from Shangai to Beijing.

  178. Hi all, I saw many people ask about train tickets and train schedule. Unfortunately, there is no good English train schedule so far. I had created a train schedule page at http://home.wangjianshuo.com/train, but it is not up to date and I worry so much to mislead people by providing not-accurate information. The best Chinese one I found so far is at http://qq.ip138.com/train/. But it is not in English. Anyone know really good resources about this information?

  179. Z-trains from beijing to shanghai were suspended in June 2009, they launched the new D-trains.

  180. How does the train compare with a long distance bus? My brother and I are going to China in December and cannot decide what is the best way to travel from Shanghai to Beijing – Bus? or Train? – we can see that a long distance bus from Shanghai Hengfeng Long Distance Bus Station often leaves to Beijing and is cheaper than the train… but is it more convenient? I know the train is 10 to 12 hours…but how long is the bus ride? And what are the conditions on the bus?

    Any help will be so beneficial to us in our decision.

    thanks :)

  181. Dear Sir/Mam

    We are interested to increase traffic to your website by Search Engine Optimization, please get back to us in order to discuss the possibility in further detail. Thanks

  182. Dear Friend,

    I will with my wife in china. We want to travel from Beijing – Shanghai on 2 or 3rd May 2010 to see the Expo and the City. How can I book fast train tickets. please send me some links if you can.

    Thanks,

    NR

  183. Hi there

    I would like to book 2 adults on the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai either Wednesday 26 or Thursday 27 May 2010 after 7pm.

    Can you please tell me how I would do this on-line?

    Elisha

  184. hi! i just want to ask if z trains from beijing to shanghai are still available. thank you.

  185. I want to now how much its cost in dollars from bejjing to shanghai return with the z train?

    Thanks

    N. Neimat

    Copenhagen

  186. Hi, I’ve heard that the fast train from Beijing to Shanghai vice versa will open soon this coming June. Can you give me some info on this matter please? We are four persons willing to take this opportunity to ride your new fast train. Our plan will be on August 10 or 11, 2011. Thank you in advance.

  187. Hi. Great site. I have a few questions.

    I will be in Beijing 6 days and then have 3+ days free to travel. I’d like to go to Shanghei by train, but would also consider sites that are closer to Beijing if those sites offered wonderful siteseeing opportunities for novice world travelers such as my wife and I. Also, our flight is roundtrip from Beijing so we will need to get back there at the end.

    Does it make sense to take the overnight train one way to Shanghei, spend a day or 2 there, and work our way back to Beijing to catch the return flight, maybe seeing another city for the day?

    What might be the cost in US dollars?

    What suggestions would you have for the 3+ days?

    Thanks!

    Ron

  188. would u pls tell me.

    I want goes to xian. If I stay in beijing.Can I booking round-trip ticket(2 way)ticket from beijing-xian-beijing?

    I am not sure. May be only one way booking.

    Pls give me the detail.

    So much thanks

    Aaron

  189. what is the cost on 2 return train tickets from Beijing to Shanghai on +- 15 May 2011?

  190. I understand that a fast train from bejing to Shanghai can cost about $149 dollars

    versus a regular train fare of $49 dollars is that correct ? & is there a sleeper cabin

    in the regular train which can take up to 12 hours where a fast train can take 4 hrs

    am I correct on that ?

  191. Hi,

    I have tickets booked for the Beijing – Shanghai sleeper train on 24th Aug 2011. However, on the UK news today I see that 50+ trains have been recalled. Can anyone tell me if the train is still running obviously this is all to do with the crash last month. Any information will be appreciated.

  192. Hi Wang Jian Shuo

    Do you ever go to Guangzhou or Shenzhen from Shanghai by train? How long it will takes and how much? Which one is better Shanghai to Guangzhou or Shanghai to Shenzhen ?

  193. Hello from Australia! Can you please advise whether people can double up on the bunks, We have three children and could only travel from Beijing to Xi’an if we can all stay together. I am happy to pay for the fifth ticket so two of my sons can share a bunk. Do you think they will allow this? Thank you so much for your information.

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