High Speed Train Types & Seat Classes
At present, China has developed the world's most extensive highspeed rail network linking over hundreds of cities in China. Thus travelling by high speed train has become a very popular choice among travelers. The cost of high speed train travel varies based on different train types and seat classes. You will learn about the three main types of high-speed trains and different seat classes on the train here.
China high-speed train could be categorized into three types, characterized by different letters including G, D and C, which slightly differ from each other by speeds, distances and facilities.
G Series Trains - The Fastest and Best Train
G-series trains (Gaotie in Chinese) are the fastest and safest among all the trains. Even with a speed up to 350 kph, passengers could barely feel the bump or noise. G trains also gets superior quality service to create a comfortable and relaxing train travel experience, so its price is deservedly highest. The G trains usually shuttle between major cities of China with fewer intermediate stations, and there is no sleeper carriage as they mostly operate in daytime. G trains are available in most popular travel routes in China, such as Beijing - Xian, Beijing - Shanghai, Shanghai - Huangshan - Hangzhou, Chongqing - Kunming. As G trains are considered the first choice for traveling around, the train tickets are usually in great demand. Thus you are supposed to making bookings as early as possible.
D Series Trains - Cheaper and a Bit Slower Than G Trains
Also nicknamed as Bullet Train, D series (Dongche in Chinese) are the second fastest trains that could run with an average speed 200 - 250 kph. This type of train is mostly operated on busy and popular long-distance rail routes linking big cities and small counties both via more intermediate stops. Some D trains are facilitated with carriages for sleeper as they are in service day and night. Comparing to G trains, the price of the D series are a little cheaper sometimes. You could use D trains to move from Chongqing to Guilin, from Yichang (the terminate city of downward Yangtze cruise) to Shanghai and so on.
C Series Trains - Intercity Trains between Neighboring Cities
C series high-speed trains usually run with a speed less than 200 kph to connect short-ride neighboring cities or cities within a province, such as Beijing - Tianjin, Guangzhou - Shenzhen, Guangzhou - Zhuhai, Chengdu - Leshan/Dujiangyan, etc. Comparing to taking a bus, the C trains is faster and more comfortable. In most cases, C trains are operated in high frequency like intercity subways, nearly at an interval of 10-30 minutes. Therefore, you could absolutely purchase the tickets upon your arrival at the train station instead of booking the tickets in advance.
Second Class Seat
- The cheapest seat type in high-speed trains
- Five seats in a row (3+2)
- Adjustable seat with a width of 42cm
- Retractable table attached in front
- Two power outlets available per row
Note: There are also standing tickets costing the same price when all the second class seats are sold out, while they are usually issued for some short trips.
First Class Seat
- A bit expensive but more comfortable ride experience
- Four seats in a row (2+2)
- Partially reclining seats with width of 47cm
- Retractable table in the arm of each seat
- Small pillows and footrest at each seat
- Four power outlets available
- Larger space in aisles and between rows
Superior Class Seat
- Only available on a few high-speed trains
- Three reclining seats in a row (2+1)
- 16 superior class seats on one highspeed train
- Quiet, private and relaxing environment
Business Class Seat
- The most luxurious seat class on high-speed trains
- Three seats in a row (2+1)
- Fully reclining flat-on leather sofa seat
- TV, tray table and power outlets at each seat
- VIP waiting lounge in some train stations
- Affordable sleeper class for long-distance rail travel
- Four berths in one compartment
- TV, air-condition control and reading lamp
- Both squat-type and western style toilets available