This an introduction of train tickets, train numbers and seat classes in China.
China Train Tickets
There are three kinds of paper tickets issued by China Railway.
1 Soft paper tickets with a red shading.
2 Magnetic medium tickets with a blue shading.
3 Substituting tickets written by the working staff of the railway stations. It only happens in some particular cases.
The paper ticket shows the departure station, arrival station, seat type, ticket price, train number, departure date, valid date, ticket number, two-dimensional code, name and ID number of the passenger.
China Train Numbers
In China, trains are categorized by using different initials. They are G,C,D,Z,T,K,Y,L. Most train numbers are composed of English initial and Arabic numerals.
G stands for high-speed trains, C stands for inter-city high-speed trains, D stands for Multiple units trains, Z stand for direct express trains, T stand for express trains, K stands for fast trains, Y stands for tourist trains, L stands for temporary trains. If the train number is just four digits with no English initials, it means the trains are normal trains.
Normally, G and C trains are the fastest trains, D trains are not as fast as G Trains but fasted than the other trains. Speed: G&C trains>D trains> Z trains>T trains> K trains>normal trains
Train Seat Classes
The fare of the train tickets varies according to the distance and seat class. The following are the classes of seat and sleeper of china trains.
The seat classes of high-speed trains
1.Business class seat
The business seats are only available on G trains and some D trains. They are the best seats on the train. Passengers could take a nap on the seat. The seats are usually behind the operation cab. Passengers may get a better view of the scenery on the way.
2. Deluxe class seat
Deluxe seats,sometimes called VIP seat or super seat, are only available on a few high-speed trains. The seats of the deluxe seats are pretty much like the first class seats, but have better views.
3. First class seat
First class seats are usually four seats in a row. The seats are bigger and more comfortable than the second class seats. There is a small table at the back of each seat, just like which in a plane. The fare of the ticket is higher than the second class.
4. Second class seat
Usually there are five seats in a row and these seats are very comfortable. There is a small table at the back of each seat, just like which in a plane. Second class seat is the lowest class in the high-speed trains but with a preferable ticket fare. Most people would like to choose second class seats.
The seat classes of normal fast trains
1. Deluxe Soft Sleeper
Usually there are two berths, one sofa, a toilet in one compartment, only available on a few trains. There are doors for each compartment that can be locked.The bed items offered including a pillow, a sheet and a quilt. As the best class in the train, the ticket fare is higher than others.
2. Soft Sleeper
Soft Sleeper is different from hard sleeper. It is more comfortable than hard sleeper. There are four berths in a compartment, two high and two lower. The bed is wider than which in a hard sleeper. The bed items offered including a pillow, a sheet and a quilt. There are doors for each compartment that can be locked.
3. Hard Sleeper
There are usually six berths in a compartment, i.e. two higher sleepers, two middle sleepers and two lower sleepers. There are no doors for each compartment. The bed items offered including a pillow, a sheet and a quilt.
4. Soft seat
The seats of soft sleeper are more comfortable than the seats of hard seat class. The carriage of soft seats is not crowded at all because everyone has a seat. There will be no standing passengers. Soft Seat is available on some of the trains.
5. Hard seat
Hard seat is the lowest class of trains in China. Hard seat is usually a bench for three or two passengers to sit on. There are no clear boundaries of each seat. Here “hard” is not really hard but just less comfortable than the soft seat. Recently, some trains have been upgraded. The hard seats of these trains are pretty much like the soft seats.
The carriage of hard seat is usually noisy and crowded. Besides, there are tickets for standing room for short-distance trip. The passengers who have bought the standing tickets are also stay in the hard seat carriage and the ticket price is the same as the tickets with seats.
6. Tickets for standing room
Tickets for standing room are only available for short distance trip. These tickets are issued only after the hard seat tickets are sold out. The fare of these tickets are the same as hard seat in normal trains or second class seat in high-speed trains. The passengers are only allowed to stand in the hard seat carriage or second class carriage.
7. Platform tickets
Platform tickets are issued for people who would like to pick up or see off friends or relatives at the train station. CNY 1 for ticket fare. Sometimes the stations will stop selling platform tickets especially on peak seasons.
Related information about train travel
China Train Tickets and Seat Classes