China has paid great attention to the development of the railway system, and they’ve made significant achievement on building the railway network. Since China has over 1.3 billion people, traveling always becomes a big headache when most people travel which is why trains are so important in China.
Now most china cities can be reached by trains, no matter it is fast train or slow one, no matter it is direct trains to big cities or trains running between two small nearby cities. Traveling by rail is convenient and cheap.
China trains are divided into 4 different types: the number with no English letter means slow trains. T/K ones represent fast trains, Z trains for direct line between two cities while D trains for China Railway High-speed (CRH), the fastest train in China.
For a typical train in China, there are mainly 3 type tickets: seat, sleeper and luxurious cabin. Seat has two type soft seat and hard seat. Sleeper has hard sleeper and soft sleeper too, and hard ones are cheaper than soft ones.
If you want to travel from one big city to another city by railway, you can choose to take express train which is called D train, ticket number started with letter D. It is the fastest and most comfortable type in China. The train with just number and no English letter is slow train which always stops at small city and town stations. T or Z trains are also fast trains and suggested to take for travelers.
China train tickets are available at railway stations and train ticket agents which can be found at different corners of a city. Travelers are allowed to buy the tickets 5-20 days before its departure, and different ones has different advance booking period. The Z and D trains allow travelers to book tickets 20 days ahead.
When you travel in China and want to travel by railway, remember to avoid the travel peak season become if you travel during the peak days, you will have great difficulty buying the tickets. For example, national holidays, such as China national day, the new year(spring festival) and May day etc.