As big a Beijing. Home to alot of transport operations.

  • Only commercial maglev operation in the world, runs at around 400km/h+ between the city and the airport.
  • 9 metro lines, 13 by 2012
  • 2 main railway termini
  • Very large bus network, maybe the largest in the world
  • 1 tram, or guided vehicle the Translohr
  • Dozens of ferries

2 days, 3 days?

Some tips about train travel

Avoiding ticket queues…

  • Gates to the platform open 30 minutes before the train departs, and closes 5 minutes in advance.So get there early.
  • You can get on the platform with a platform ticket.
  • What some people do is to buy a platform ticket (about 20c), then approach the conductor on board to buy a train ticket for full price.

Getting a sleeper

  • buy a standing or hard seat ticket in advance
  • two days before the train is due to depart (or whatever the cancellation period shown on the ticket is) go back to the ticket office and check for returned sleeper tickets – buy the sleeper ticket and get a refund on your standing / hard seat ticket
  • if you are still stuck with a standing / hard seat ticket on the day of your train do not worry! Once on the platform, head for the dining car. Tell the attendant that you want to ‘bu piao’ = make up the ticket to a better one i.e. a sleeper. In my limited experience, they will either do it there and then or wait until the train has left and they can see which births are still empty.
  • Use the above at your own risk!!!

Shanghai Metro

The focal point is the cross between lines 1,2 & 8 at Peoples Square.  Up to 45,000 people per hour. Lines 1 & 2 are the busiest, about 1 million a day!



April 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

China Train Types

Found a neat summary of Chinese trip identifiers…

Train types Trips
CRH D1~D999
Intercity Highspeed Train C1~C999
Direct Express Trtain Non-Stop Z1~Z999
Express Passenger Train Direct T1 ~ T298
Stopping T301 ~ T998
Fast passenger train Direct K1 ~ K398
Stopping K401 ~ K998
Ordinary passenger train Ordinary passenger express train Stops in more than three districts 1001 ~ 1998
Inter-District 2001 ~ 3998
Stopping 4001 ~ 5998
Ordinary passenger traffic Direct 6001 ~ 6198
Stopping 6201 ~ 8998
Temporary passenger trains Direct L1 ~ L498
Stopping L501 ~ L998
Provisional Tourism Train Direct Y1 ~ Y498
Stopping Y501 ~ Y998

Source: 14 April 2009

Destination Identification

Carriage destination and train number are usually found on the center of passenger cars,

The Origin: Wulumuqi

The Desitination: Beijing (West)

Train number: T70/69


You can classify some standard Chinese trains based on the train types.

  • The +200km/h CRH EMU’s
  • DMU’s or electric loco’s, coupled with double decker coaches (in use where passenger movements are high), and
  • regular carriage stock hauled by diesel or electric traction.

Chinese High Speed EMU’s

The CRH are the back bone of the current 5 year development plan for Chinese railways. There are presently 4 types of CRH in operation


Constructed by Bombadier, Max 200km/h, 2006-

  • Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway (Hong Kong) 19 Units
  • Shanghai Railway Bureau 16 Units
  • 2 Subtypes
    • CRH1A, 8-car consist, 40 units
    • CRH1B, 16 car-consist, 20 units
    • CRH1E, under construction, a sleeper version


Constructed by Kawasaki, Max 250 km/h (2a/2b/2e), 350km/h (2c), 2005 –

  • 88 Units in operation
  • 4 Subtypes
    • CRH2A, 8 car consists
    • CRH2B, 16 car consists
    • CRH2C, 8 car consists, 300km/h
    • CRH2E, 16 car sleeper

I beleive that the CRH2E is the only high speed EMU sleeper in the world. It runs the Beijing-Shanghai route.


Design by Siemens (German ICE3), 350 km/h, 2008 –

  • Currently the fastest unit in production
  • Feb 2009 – 9 Units, est 57 units by December 2009
  • 8 car consists

Runs on highest speed lines,

  • Beijing to Tianjin, and
  • Beijing to Shanghai (when complete)


Design by Alstom, 250 km/h Pendolino, 2006 –

  • Runs predominately in the North East
  • 51 trains in service
  • 8 car consists
  • and it Tilts

There was a CRH4 on paper only, in fact this project became the CRH2C


DMU’s are, obviously, used on non-electrified lines. Given the expansion of the overhead in china, they can only be found in outlying regions with higher traffic or some special areas like the Great Wall of china near Beijing.

They are a relatively rare sight.

NZJ1&2 , 160km/h, 2001-2003

  • only operate in the Nanning & Wuhan Railway Bureau’s
  • 8-10 car consists + 2 motor , double deck

NDJ2, 200km/h,2008-

  • Used for tourist trains between Beijing and the Great Wall
  • 7 carriage + 2 motor
  • 9 units constructed
  • Sometimes referred to as CRH6, as it is classed in the ‘Harmony’ set of vehicles by CNR


The bulk of CNR is run by your everyday loco hauled passenger trains.

The classes or carriage are easy to identify, they are simple sequential numbers.

The types generally refer to the speed they travel.

Stock in service…



Class 18

  • International Services, Kazakhstan, Mongolia & Russia
  • 120 km/h
  • Older Green Cars usually with corrugatated sides
  • most date from the 1960’s
  • newer models based on Class 19 luxury design or higher
  • Almost all are YW sleepers and CA diner
  • Uses a red circle with stars as opposed to the standard red rail symbol
  • 18 class roundel

    18 class roundel

Class 21

  • Built 1953-1961
  • Non-Airconditioned
  • Green


Class 22,23

  • Built 1959-1994
  • Bulk of the Fleet during the 1990’s
  • up to 120 km/h
  • Non-air conditioned

Class 24

  • Built 1980-88
  • Air Conditioned version of the 22
  • Rare

Class 25A-

  • Built 1979-90’s

Current Production Stock…



Class 25B

  • 140 km/h
  • Non Air Conditioned
  • Designed to replace 22 series


Class 25G

  • 140 km/h


Class 25K

  • 160 km/h


Class 25T

  • 160 km/h


Class 25T(P)

  • Built for Tibet Railway
  • 160km/h
  • Pressurised
  • Other fittings for the Tibetan plains environment (eg: oxygen)
  • Overall design also incorporates the ability to operate in isolation for many days with extra food and diesel.
  • Side note: An original design requirement  of the Queensland Rail ‘lander cars was that they could be self sustained for up to 2 weeks should a flood occur.


Class 25Z

  • 160 km/h
  • Has 4 classes of interior seating

T series…

  • The T suffix is for “tekuai” which roughly translates as “very fast”


Class 25DT

  • 200 km/h
  • Will eventually replace most 25 classes in production


Class 19K & 19T

  • Luxury Cars
  • 160/200 km/h
  • RW sleepers and CA Buffet
  • Very similar to European 1st class carriages, about 16-20 pax
  • 2 Berths per cabin, some have individual showers and toilets
  • Used predominantly on Z & some T series train. Market  is  wealthy visitors and western tourists.
  • Some older 19 Class still run these were built in East Germany during the 1980’s
  • One night on a RW19Tis roughly AU$180.

Travel Classes

For the majority of travel there are 2 broad classes roughly equivalent to the European 1st and second class. But as it is a communist country with little difference between the middle class most people might place it as “Second” and “Second and a half” class.

Sleepers, compartments

RW Corridor

RW Corridor

RW 4 bunk cabin

RW 4 bunk cabin

  • RW, ruanwoche, Soft Sleepers
    • 4 berth cabins
YW Corridor

YW Corridor

YW 6 bunk cabin

YW 6 bunk cabin

  • YW, yingwoche, Hard Sleepers
    • 6 berth cabins

Sitting, all open saloon


RZ Soft Seat

CRH Soft Seat

CRH Soft Seat

  • RZ, ruan zuo che, Soft Sitter
    • 2+2 arrangement
    • Generally Fixed Seating, non-reclining
    • Groups of 4 non-reversible seating or reversible groups of 2 newer models
    • Open Saloon
    • ~95 per car
  • RZ2, 2nd Class  Soft Sitter (25c,25Z, 25DT  carriages)
    • Same as RZ, however they do have Reclining Seats
    • ~75 per car
  • RZ1, 1st Class Soft Sitter (25c,25Z, 25DT  carriages)
    • Same as RZ2
    • ~70 per car
  • RZT, Top Class Soft Sitter (25Z, 25DT  carriages)
    • 2+1 arrangement & 2+2 compartments
    • Open Saloon & 4 compartments
    • 42 per car
    • Shanghai area
  • YZ Old Style

    YZ Old Style


    YZ Hard Seat

    CRH Hard Seat

    CRH Hard Seat

  • YZ, yingzuoche, Hard Seat
  • 2+3 seating, fixed


    CA Dining

    CA Dining

    CRH Dining

    CRH Dining

  • CA, canche, Dining
  • XL, xingliche, Luggage
  • KD (FD, TZ), fadianche, Generator
  • UZ, youzhengche, Postal Vehicles
  • GW, gongwuche, Government Car

S Prefix, Double Deck Carriage

Identifying the carriage from the outside

On the side of all carriages is the identification number.


  1. The Class of Coach. RW is the abbreviated form on the Chinese pronunciation of 1st class
  2. The model of carriage.
  3. The coach number, a 5-6 digit identifier, reiterating the design model and class.
  4. The class of coach in Chinese
  5. The top operational speed of the coach

See Also

April 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

Jinan onwards

Working on a Jinan rail map. Mapping the direct destinations from Jinan.

Joho maps give a good overview, but the detail isnt evident.

china-mor also have detailed maps, if a little busy.

Jinan is a VERY busy station, it runs a 24 hour operation, its of the main  way to shanghai so all night trains from northern china pass through.

Overnight to save some pennies…

K172/173, Qingdao – Jinan – Xiian, 1857 – 1028+1, 1179km,

K208/205, Qingdao – Jinan – Chengdu, 2104-0531, or

D157, Jinan to Zhengzhou, 1822 – 2333, 668km

Of course this would missout entirely on Shanghai.

on to Shanghai

Jinan is 400km into the Beijing-Shanghai railway.

The new dedicated high speed railway should be finished by 2013.

This is also domain of the CRH 2E running the D301/302 & D305/6 services, unfortunately they run non-stop from Beijing.

  • 1400km in 14hours,
  • 2130-0730

CRH2E Formation

The 2E has a fixed 16 carriage formation.


  • ZE, Soft Sitter, 2+2 Seating
  • WR, Sleeper, 4 berth Cabin
    • Cabins have individual TV’s fitted
  • CA, Dining
  • Capacity 520 sleeping, 110 sitting 630

CRH2E Quirky Testing

When the VSOE ran again in the 1980’s from London to the Sea they tested the stability of the train by putting a glass of water in the drivers cabin, dont spill it during dinner. To test the CRH2E they used a cigarette.

They apparently sat at the table, lit a cigarette whilst the train was underway, no ash fell on the table so it passed the test! (

Jinan to Shanghai

T105 is the overnight service starting in Jinan and running to Shanghai

T105 | Jinan-Shanghai | 2110-0613 | 968 km

T105 is entirely comprised of YW hard and RW soft sleepers possibly with a CA buffet.

March 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Qingdao – Jinan

Qingdao, full of history and tourism.

Its one of the few places to still have Trolley Buses.

The railway station has been rebuilt in time for the olympics.


The city runs with an extensive network of trolley & ordinary buses.

There are future plans to expand the network to include subways.

Chinese Sites: Qingdao Government

Locally Published Train Timetable. Bus Timetable

Planning images

The history of Qingdao is interesting and varied. It was home to Germans during the 19th century and even house the US western pacific headquarters immediately after WW2.

The line between Qingdao and Jinan is a mix of freight and passenger lines. Since the introduction of the 200km/h CRH line doesn’t exactly have a segregated passenger route all the way but where upgrades have been made the line can be seen gently curving around smaller towns.

Journey time on a CRH train is in the order of 2h 50m, distance is about 400km. About 12 trains a day make the trip, 6 more go on to Beijing.

2911580155_b74818bd82Jinan station like many chinese stations is quite grand on the inside. The low curve of the roof is interesting, high curves were popular during the steam era, with electric engines roof shape you like.

Jinan is the middle of the Beijing – Shanghai, Jinghu railway. 4 parallel lines for most of the way, it is also being upgraded to 300km/h running.

If you were to believe everything that the Ministry of Railways says everything is on track for 380km/h trains by 2012, the reality is that the CRH system has been built very rapidly, they have a shortage of rollingstock. The running speed will more likely be around 300km/h and given the cities along the way average speed will be lower again.

Jinan to Qingdao (Jiaoji Passenger Line) was intended as a 200-250km/h line, running times put it at 150km/h.

What they have achieved is amazing, their 15 year plan for the network is something the world can look to as a guide to getting the population mobile.

Example: D604 CRH timetable


March 22, 2009 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

China Exit Strategy

As well as to see China the end goal is to get out again.

With such a big country there are only a handful of crossings. Routes out include…

  • 3 to Russia (red)
    • Suifenhe, train 401/402, N23/24
    • Huchun Port, freight railway only
    • Manzhouli, trans-Manchurian branch of the trans-Siberian, K19/20 or K7023/7024?
  • 2 to Vietnam (blue)
    • Pingxiang, T5/6, T871/872
    • Hong Ha, Narrow Gauge disused
  • 1 to Kazakhstan (yellow)
    • K9795/9796, K9797/9798
  • 3 to North Korea (black)
    • Dandong, K27/28
    • Jian, Freight
    • Tumen, Freight (mainly coal)
  • 1 to Mongolia (black)
    • Erenhot, K3/4, K23/24, K89/90, 4652/4653, 4654/4651


Of course with the booming development they have planned for just a couple more.

  • 1 to Laos
  • 1 to Burma
  • 1 more to Kazakhstan

And some rumours of links to..

  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Tajikistan
  • and Taiwan

Future lines

March 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment


A problem. I want to add some metadata to posts, not just tags. Tags with values like price:$100 or time:5h44m. Ok sure I could use a database but that is overdoing it for my needs and kinds steers the data towards a rigid structure. Rigid is not what I had in mind I want the nice loose thought style like a mind map.
Alterately I could use psedo data like a $100 tag and 1h tag. Round the numbers out.
Another idea is a formatted table possibly linked to a google doc? Again the value of the data doesn’t warrant the use of that kind of structure

March 17, 2009 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

Incheon Ferry – China

Incheon has quite a few international ferry destinations.

International ferry Site (Korean)

All sites warn of congestion at the terminals and to arrive 2-3 hours before departure.

Most lines have 3 weekly departures.

Shortest journey is 12 hours, longest is 25hrs.

Almost all are car ferries.

Fares range from AUD$100 for basic economy to AUD$360 for a double bed.

Weidong company have an english site.

Only problem is where to go.

The Shangdong region has the most frequent services to Qingdao, Weihai & Yantai

dep Incheon 1900

arr Qingdao 0900

Qingdao is the bigger and better connected of the 3. Accessible 3 times a week with the Weidong company

March 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm Leave a comment

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