That’s short for China Railway High-Speed or simply the fast trains…and believe me, there is nothing better than riding them to your next destination. Hands down, hopping on a train is the best way to explore China as there are currently already 9,676 km (6,012 miles) of track routes in service connecting almost all the cities, and as of June 2011, 3,515 km (2,184 miles) of these rail lines reach top speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph), so basically, there really is no place you can’t reach in the Middle Kingdom.
The trains are clean and modern and the seats resemble those on an airplane. You can choose between first-class seats and regular second-class seats. What’s the difference? In my opinion, not much since there isn’t any special food service (unlike in the airlines) and the trip is usually fast. The trains don't serve food although you can buy some snacks and coffee. I must say though that first class seats definitely have more leg room and a slightly bigger seat. So if supreme comfort is what you're after, then by all means, go first class all the way.
So far there are 3 main fast trains in
. Here’s the rundown: China
These make up the majority of the fast trains in
. They are the earlier generation CRHs, all with top speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) but mostly going at an average speed of 150-200 km/h (93 – 125 mph). China
What’s the cost? It really depends on how far your destination is. Here’s a sample cost.
- one way first class: 189 Rmb (US$30)
|Last year, waiting for the D train in Shanghai station with friends Isabel, Cathy, and Angela|
|My friend Claudette in the first class cabin of the D train|
These are the latest generation CRH3 with top speeds of 330 km/h (over 200 mph) and some even reaching speeds of up to 380 km/h. The city connections that use these trains are the
Beijing – Tianjin Intercity rail, Shanghai – Nanjing Intercity rail, Wuhan – Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou – . Xi’an
What’s the cost? These are more expensive than the D trains because of their speed.
Shanghai – , Nanjing Intercity rail which opened in July 2010
tickets start above 200 Rmb (US$ 31) one way.
|G train model|
(file photo derived from Wikimedia Commons)
And the fastest of them all... the SHANGHAI MAGLEV TRAIN
The Shanghai Maglev (magnetic levitation) train is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation train in the world. The line connects
Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the central Pudong city area of (Longyang Road Station) and back. This is a distance of 30 kilometers which normally takes 45 minutes by taxi. Operation started on January 1, 2004. This ultra-fast train has a top operational commercial speed of 431 km/h (268 mph). This is faster than the TGV in Shanghai , faster than any Formula One car or MotoGP super bikes, and is roughly the same top speed as the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. France
|My brother Paolo beside the Maglev train|
|My mom in the interior of the Maglev train|
To really experience the speed of the Maglev, watch this video on Youtube.
Click on the link below:
Click on the link below:
SUGGESTED CHINA TRAIN JOURNEYS
Distance: 1,318 km (819 miles)
Travel time: under 5 hours
Train top speed: 300 km/h (186 mph) for the entire trip
Intercity High-Speed Railway (opened July 1, 2010) Nanjing
Distance: 301 km (187 miles)
Travel time: 1 hour and 13 minutes
Train speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
Shanghai Maglev Train airport rail link (opened in 2004)
Distance: 30 km (19 miles)
Travel Time: 7 minutes and 20 seconds
Top Speed: 431 km/h (268 mph) now that’s fast!!!
BIG PRO: If you’re late for your flight, you might just make it with the Maglev!