Luggage Allowance and Policy of China Trains
Form an insider's train travel experience of years, the baggage allowance and policy on China trains are utterly loose and friendly. Indeed, there are specific rules about the luggage carrying onboard, but usually you could take more than what is prescribed. It is common to see Chinese locals boarding a normal train with tons of baggage like oversized suitcases, huge jute bags and even buckets. Hereunder are ultimate guidelines for you to handle luggage during a train travel in China.
- Size and Volume
Child: 10 kg (22 pounds)
Adult: 20 kg (44 pounds)
Diplomat: 35 kg (77 pounds)
Normal Train: max. 160cm/63in (length+width+height)
High Speed Train (D, G & C): max.130cm/51in (length+width+height)
The Rod-shaped Item (fishing rods, scroll paintings): shall not exceed 200cm/79in (length)
1. The baggage allowance of China train is not applicable to folding wheelchairs of the disabled. There is no weight and size restriction for wheelchairs even when it is carried as an extra luggage.
2. In practice, travelers are seldom required to weigh or measure their luggage as long as they could smoothly go through the conveyor belt of entry security check. One could carry large luggage even up to three pieces, far heavier than the restricted weight. Smartly, you could split rather big or heavy baggage into smaller bags in case of getting stuck at the luggage check.
- Prohibited items:
- Restricted Items:
Dangerous Items: weapons like guns (including imitation guns), bullets, batons and knives; sharp and offensive tools including scissors, axes, saws, etc.
Explosives: bombs, grenades, firecrackers, fireworks, compressed gases, medical and industrial alcohol, loose-packed drinking alcohol, etc.
Living animals: including all kinds of pets, birds or insects (guide-dog is excluded).
Inflammable items: ethyl alcohol, hydrogen, gasoline, oil paint, camphor, hexamine and other solid fuels.
Corrosives: mercury, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc.
Toxic and Poisons: pesticides, vitriol, radioisotope, mercury, termite powder.
Strong Magnetic Material: things that may influence the train's signal.
Bicycles: Unfolded bikes are not allowed to carry onto the train.
Lighters (≤ 2)
Matches (≤ 2 boxes)
Cigarettes (≤ 50 cartons)
Nail polish and hair dyes (≤ 20ml)
Drinking alcohol (≤ 6 bottles within 500ml for each; only 2 bottles if over 50%; the bottles must be sealed)
Compressed sprays including hairspray, hair gel, styling mousse, insecticide and air freshener (≤ 120ml)
If your luggage is overweight or you do not want to drag big baggage all the way, you can have them consigned through China Railway's Checked Baggage Service before departure from the railway station.
- Step-by-Step Guide:
- Things to Know
1. Find the Baggage Consignment Office and request for baggage consignment service with your train ticket as a certification.
2. Fill the forms with your consignment info including name, address, phone number, weight or amount of the items.
3. Pay the fee and keep the receipt that the staff offers.
4. Collect your consigned luggage with the receipt from the train station after being informed of arrival.
1. The consignment fee is calculated according to the traveling distance, baggage weight and baggage types.
2. The baggage weight shall not exceed 50 kg (75 kg if a wheelchair is included in the baggage). Otherwise, the excessive weight will generate a large surcharge.
3. The minimum volume of each piece of luggage should be larger than 0.01 cubic meter.
4. Prohibited items such as weapons, bullets, knives, bombs, grenades and fireworks cannot be consigned.
5. An extra cost for escort service would be charged if you consign valuables such as jewelries, antiques and securities.
6. Usually, your consigned luggage will be transported on the same train with you and can be retrieved upon your arrival. However, sometimes the luggage arrives earlier, and the destination station will store your luggage for free within three days. If the luggage reaches later, you will be informed of the arrival by the station staff.
The baggage space is kind of limited on high-speed trains. In most cases, travelers would place their large suitcase on the racks overhead, but it might be occupied if you board the train late. Therefore, you are suggested to line up for check-in as early as possible so that you could be the first flow of people to get on the train.
- Luggage Rack
- Baggage Cabinets
- Last Row of Seats
You can put your luggage on the two racks overhead inside the carriage, which can accommodate suitcases up to 24 inch. Small items such water bottles and umbrellas as well as small bags for valuables shall not be put on the rack in case of falling or missing.
Baggage cabinets are facilitated on high-speed trains at the joints between carriages, where you could settle suitcases up to 28 inch. If the cabinet is far away from your seat, you'd better keep an eye on it especially when passengers get off the train at an intermediate station.
There will be a spacious room behind the last row of seats at each carriage on most highspeed trains, which could be used to store your big luggage as well.
Read more about Facilities on high-speed trains.
- Seat Class Carriage
- Sleeper Class Carriage
The luggage racks above the seats is larger than that in high-speed trains, able to hold suitcases of 28 inch. Besides, you could put the small suitcases and bags under the table (70 cm) or your seat (30 cm).
On sleeper carriages, you could leave your baggage at three places: the luggage racks beside upper berths (50 cm wide and 40 cm high), the space under lower berths (25 cm) and the room under the small table in each compartment (50 cm).
1. By the side of each berth, there are pothooks on the wall for you to hang up small bags.
2. Do like Chinese locals, you should keep your valuables on the berth in case of loss if taking an overnight sleeper train as the light would be off after 10 pm.
3. No matter where you place your luggage, make sure settle them in a steady way as the train might bump sometimes.
In most train stations, there are luggage porters who can help travelers to escort their luggage from the waiting rooms onto the train so that you could get rid of the trouble of dragging supersize luggage around. Usually nicknamed Red Cap, they always wear red caps to be easily recognized by passengers in need of help. The charge varies between CNY20 and CNY30 for each piece. Travelers using this service could board the train prior to other passengers by following the porters.
If you arrive at the train station too early or you need to wait for the next transit train for hours, you could deposit your luggage at the left luggage service center and explore places around to while away some time. The left luggage service usually could be found near the entry of train stations, and it charges CNY 5-20 according the time of storage, sizes and amount of your luggage. Meanwhile, small shops and stores clustered around the train station also offer left-luggage service, which charge CNY 5-10 per piece for big luggage. Likewise, you shall never leave your handbags or small parcels there but keep valuables with you instead. By the way, take care of the receipt that is needed to collect your baggage.