Train G14 from Shanghai to Beijing seen at Jining
 

Beijing to Shanghai the fast & easy way...  By 300km/h (186mph) high-speed train.  Or save time & a hotel bill on the express sleeper...

For other Chinese train routes & a beginner's guide to train travel in China, see the main China page...

Beijing to Shanghai by train or flight?

Between Beijing & Shanghai, the train is the way to go.  Choose between a 300 km/h (186 mph) high-speed train over the high-speed line in as little as 4 hours 48 minutes or a time-effective 250 km/h (156 mph) express sleeper train, which also saves a hotel bill.  Either way, it's a unique Chinese experience.  When you consider the time taken to get to & from remote airports, airport check-in & security plus the unreliability of domestic flights on the overcrowded Beijing-Shanghai corridor, the clean & punctual high-speed train is as quick as flying and much more fun.  This page will show you what the trains are like, advise you on which class to travel in, and how to buy your ticket online or in person...

  Beijing to Shanghai southbound train times

  Shanghai to Beijing northbound train times

  How much does it cost?

  How to buy tickets

  What are the G-category high-speed trains like?   Watch the video!

  What are the D-category express sleeper trains like?  Watch the video!

  Quick guide to boarding your train at Beijing South

  Quick guide to boarding your train at Shanghai Hongqiao

  Hotel suggestions in Beijing & Shanghai

Train times, southbound...

 Beijing ► Shanghai by high-speed train

 Train number:

G101

G11

G31

G105

G1

G111

G113

G13

G115

G117

G15

G35

G123

G125

G127

G129

G131

 Beijing South station depart

07:00

08:00

08:05

08:10

09:00

09:05

09:17

10:00

10:05

10:10

11:00

11:05

11:15

11:20

11:45

12:03

12:25

 Shanghai Hongqiao arrive

12:23

12:55

13:29

13:40

13:48

14:29

14:45

14:55

15:29

15:34

15:55

16:27

16:45

16:50

17:09

17:33

17:48

 Beijing ► Shanghai by high-speed train, continued...

 Train number:

G133

G137

G3

G37

G141

G143

G17

G149

G19

G153

G155

G39

G21

G159

G161

G163

G165

 Beijing South station depart

12:40

13:06

14:00

14:05

14:16

14:22

15:00

15:20

16:00

16:10

16:15

16:26

17:00

17:05

17:25

17:39

17:57

 Shanghai Hongqiao arrive

18:04

18:35

18:48

19:33

19:39

19:50

19:55

20:50

20:55

21:40

21:45

21:50

21:55

22:35

22:47

23:01

23:27

 Beijing ► Shanghai by sleeper train

 Train number:

T109

D311

D321

D313

 Beijing South station depart

   19:33**

 21:16

   20:58**

19:34

 Shanghai main station arrive

  09:55*

  08:58*

  08:46*

 07:15*

* These trains arrive/depart Shanghai main station in central Shanghai, not Hongqiao.

** These trains arrive/depart Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing, not Beijing South.

G-category 300km/h high-speed trains have 2nd, 1st & Business class seats, see the photos & advice here & watch the video guide.

D-category 250km/h express sleeper trains have 4-berth soft sleepers & 2nd class seats, see the photos & advice here & watch the video guide.

T-category classic sleeper train T109/T110 has soft & hard sleepers, soft & hard seats and 2-berth deluxe soft sleepers, see information & advice here

Finding & boarding your train    Luggage arrangements     Hotels in Beijing    Hotels in Shanghai

Beijing metro map.   Shanghai metro map.   Map of Beijing showing stations.   Map of Shanghai showing stations

Which station in Beijing?  Almost all Beijing-Shanghai trains now use Beijing South Station (BeijingNan), 6km southwest of central Beijing.  One or two D & T category sleepers trains still use Beijing's main central station, as shown by the asterisk.

Which station in Shanghai?  Almost all Beijing-Shanghai trains now use Shanghai's new Hongqiao station, 18km from central Shanghai near the old airport.  One or two D & T category sleeper trains still use Shanghai's more central main station (Shanghai Zhan).

Distances:  Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao via the new high-speed line is 1,318 km (819 miles), a little shorter than the classic route, which is 1,454 km (909 miles) from Beijing railway Station to Shanghai station.  The new high-speed line opened in 2011.

Additional D-category trains...  There are many more trains between Beijing & Shanghai in addition to those shown here, including many cheaper but slower D-category 250 km/h daytime trains taking around 7 hours.  You can check the times for all trains using the online timetable at www.chinahighlights.com or any of the Chinese train timetable websites listed here.

Train times, northbound...

 Shanghai Beijing by high-speed train

 Train number:

G102

G104

G106

G12

G110

G32

G2

G114

G116

G118

G14

G122

G124

G16

G128

G130

G132

 Shanghai Hongqiao depart

07:00

07:10

07:20

08:00

08:05

08:15

09:00

09:05

09:15

09:27

10:00

10:10

10:15

11:00

11:05

11:20

11:40

 Beijing South station arrive

12:20

12:40

12:50

12:55

13:28

13:41

13:40

14:26

14:44

14:49

14:55

15:33

15:42

15:55

16:35

16:45

17:04

 Shanghai ► Beijing by high-speed train, continued...

 Train number:

G124

G138

G140

G142

G4

G38

G10

G150

G152

G20

G156

G158

G22

G160

G162

G164

G166

 Shanghai Hongqiao depart

12:10

12:43

13:00

13:20

14:00

14:19

15:00

15:05

15:20

16:00

16:05

16:21

17:00

17:05

17:17

17:50

17:55

 Beijing South station arrive

17:40

18:12

18:30

18:43

18:48

19:49

19:55

20:35

20:48

20:55

21:29

21:44

21:55

22:28

22:45

23:20

23:25

 Shanghai ► Beijing by sleeper train

 Train number:

T110

D312

D322

D314

 Shanghai main station depart

18:14*

19:30*

20:00*

 21:18*

 Beijing South station arrive

  09:25**

07:07

07:38

08:56

* These trains arrive/depart Shanghai main station in central Shanghai, not Hongqiao.

** These trains arrive/depart Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing, not Beijing South.

Finding & boarding your train    Luggage arrangements     Hotels in Beijing    Hotels in Shanghai

Beijing metro map.   Shanghai metro map.   Map of Beijing showing stations.   Map of Shanghai showing stations   

How much does it cost?

 Fares for high-speed trains

 Beijing-Shanghai one-way per person

By G-category 300 km/h train

By D-category train

2nd class seat

1st class seat

Business class seat

2nd class seat

1st class seat

 Bought at reservations office in China:

RMB 555 ($81)

RMB 935 ($138)

RMB 1,750 ($257)

RMB 450 ($66)

RMB 540 ($79)

 Booked at www.chinahighlights.com:

$93

$157

$294

$69

$81

 Fares for sleeper trains

 Beijing-Shanghai one-way per person

By D-category express sleeper train

By T-category slow sleeper train

2nd class seat

4-berth soft sleeper

2-berth soft sleeper

Hard sleeper

Soft sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

 Bought at reservations office in China:

RMB 327 ($48)

RMB 730 ($107)

RMB 1,470 ($215)

RMB 327 ($51)

RMB 499 ($73)

RMB 921 ($135)

 Booked at www.chinahighlights.com:

$52

$117

$234

$55

$84

$155

Child fares:  Children under 120cm tall travel free, 120-150cm tall travel for half fare, over 150cm tall pay full fare (140cm was changed to 150cm in Dec 2008, and 110cm to 120cm in Dec 2010).  Child discounts only apply to the 'base' part of a sleeper fare, so in sleepers it's closer to a 25% reduction on the total fare.

The sleeper fares shown here are for lower berths.  Upper berths (and middle berths in hard sleeper) are a fraction cheaper.

 
 

(dates on the form above are American-style mm/dd/yyyy)

How to buy tickets online ► ► ► ►

Buying tickets at the station:  See advice here

What are the G-category high-speed trains like?  What class to choose?

CHR380B train to Beijing at Shanghai Hongqiao station   CRH380A trains also run on the Beijing to Shanghai line

Two slightly different designs of train operate the high-speed G-category trains between Beijing and Shanghai, the Japanese-designed CRH380A (above right) and the German-designed CRH380B (above left, you can see the similarity to a German Railways ICE3 train).  Both types come in 8-car and 16-car versions, both types have similar seating and travel at a similar speed, although there's no easy way to tell which you'll get.  All seats rotate (apart from the ones in the sightseeing areas) and are turned to face forwards for each trip.

2nd class seats on a CRH380B Shanghai to Beijing train   First class seats on a CRH380B Shanghai to Beijing train

2nd class seats are arranged 2+3 across the car width.  Perfectly OK if you're on a budget, but not much space per person, especially if you get a middle seat.  May not be power sockets.

 

1st class seats are far more spacious, and are arranged 2+2 across the car width.  There is a power socket for each pair of seats, in the seat base.  Well worth the extra money.

Business class seats on a CRH380B Shanghai to Beijing train   The business class seats recline to become a flat bed

Business class seats are arranged 1+2 across the car width, in a spacious carpeted car.  The business class seats recline electrically and become a flat bed at the touch of a button.  Business class is expensive, even by western standards, but if you can stretch that far it's well worth it.  There's a VIP lounge for business class passengers at Beijing South & Shanghai Hongqiao.

Buffet car on a Shanghai to Beijing CRH380B train   Complimentary tray meal in business class

Buffet car with counter & tables, open to all passengers, selling snacks, beer, soft drinks...

 

A complimentary meal with plenty of green tea & orange juice are served in business class.

Sightseeing area on a CRH380B train from Shanghai to Beijing   CRH380B high-speed train arrived at Beijing South station

The sightseeing area is immediately behind the cab at each end of the train.  On most Beijing-Shanghai trains the sightseeing area is arranged like this, with two business class seats behind the cab, then a row of three narrow non-reclining seats which are sold as first class.  On some routes and trains the sightseeing areas are fitted with six first-class-style seats which are sold as superior (or premium or deluxe, the English translation varies). 

Car 1 is normally at the front going south from Beijing to Shanghai, and at the back going north from Shanghai to Beijing.  Car 8 or 16 is at the other end.  If you want seats in the sightseeing area you can use the special request box if you book with www.chinahighlights.com.

The Man in Seat 61 says:  "As you can see, the glass to the cab is permanently electrically frosted up, so there's not much sightseeing going on.  This cab was at the rear of the train, so the seats faced backwards, whereas most other seats on the train are turned round to face forwards before the train boarded.  I'd stick with seats in the regular first or business class cars."

Watch the video:  Shanghai to Beijing by high-speed train...

What are the D-category sleeper trains like?

These modern express sleeper trains can travel at up to 250km/h (156 mph), although they only use the high-speed line for part of the journey, the rest of the trip is on the classic route.  The trains are 16-cars long, consisting of 13 sleeping-cars each with nine comfortable 4-berth soft sleeper compartments, one buffet car and two streamlined end cars with a limited number of 2nd class seats.

The soft sleepers have very welcome powerful air-conditioning and there's a power socket for laptops, mobiles & cameras under the table.  Pillows, sheets & fluffy duvet are provided.  The door locks securely, with a security-latch to prevent the door opening more than an inch even if the regular lock is undone from outside with a staff key.  Each berth even has a small TV screen, although these did not work on this occasion.  Toilets & washroom are just along the corridor.

The Man in Seat 61 says: "This is a modern and comfortable train.  Have a Tsingtao beer or two in the buffet, then retire to your sleeper berth, Shanghai tomorrow morning!  Sharing a 4-berth sleeper is no problem, whatever your western sensibilities.  When the photos below were taken we shared with a pleasant Chinese lady in her late 20s who spoke good English, and a young man who spent most of the evening on his laptop."

Express sleeper train D313 about to leave Beijing South for Shanghai   The trainside displays show train number, destination & car number

An express sleeper train to Shanghai waits to leave Beijing South.  This is the D313.

 

The trainside displays clearly state train number, origin-destination & car number.  This is car 2.

Compartments & berths are clearly numbered   4-berth soft sleeper compartment   Soft sleeper corridor

Berths are clearly numbered on the compartment door...

 

The train has comfortable 4-berth soft sleepers...

 

The sleeper corridor is fairly wide, with tip-up seats...

Tray meal bought from the buffet car   Buffet car on train D313   Washroom at the end of the car

Buffet car with counter & tables in the centre of the train, selling snacks, beer (RMB 15), soft drinks and microwaved tray meals like this for around RMB 40 (4, $6)...

 

Washroom area at the end of each car.

Sleeper train D313 arrived at Shanghai main station   Western-style toilet   4-berth soft sleeper, the morning after

The D313 express sleeper from Beijing, arrived at Shanghai, right on time.  These D sleeper trains use Shanghai's more central main station, not Hongqiao.

 

The train has both western & Asian-style toilets, with toilet paper & paper towels provided.  There's also a baby-changing table.

Watch the videoBeijing to Shanghai by high-speed sleeper train...

Quick guide to boarding your train at Beijing South...   Map of Beijing showing stations

How to reach Beijing South Station:  Beijing South station (BeijingNan) is 6 km (4 miles) south-southeast of Tiananmen Square.  You can travel there easily & cheaply by Beijing Subway (see Beijing subway map) for just RMB 20 (20p, $0.50), allow 40 minutes for the subway journey.  Or you can take a taxi, the taxi fare from central Beijing to Beijing South is around RMB 35 (3.50, $6), allow at least 30 minutes for the taxi ride.

There's a brief X-ray baggage check as you enter the station, so arrive at least 30 minutes before your train leaves...  If you arrive by taxi, it will drop you at the taxi rank alongside the vast main departures hall (pictured above right).  You walk into the departures hall and immediately queue for a brief luggage X-ray check, followed by a 'wanding' by security staff.  If you arrive by metro, you emerge from the metro platforms into the downstairs arrivals level, and must take escalators or lifts up to the main departures hall, passing through a luggage X-ray check and security staff 'wand' search to enter the hall.  If you walk in through the ground-level main entrance you immediately pass through a luggage X-ray check, then go up a long tall escalator into the main departures hall where (you've guessed it) there's yet another luggage X-ray check and security staff 'wand' search to enter the hall.  Although these simple security checks are nothing like what you have to go through at an airport, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your train leaves, assuming you have already collected your tickets.

Finding your train is easy...  Large electronic departures boards clearly show the train number, destination, departure time and ticket gate number, see the photos below.  The board alternates between English & Chinese.  Go to the ticket gate shown, a display at the gate confirms that you're in the right place.  Boarding usually starts 30 minutes before departure, your ticket & passport are checked at the gate before you go down the escalators to the platform.

Beijing South Station, exterior   Beijing South Station, main departures hall

Beijing South main entrance...

 

The departures hall, upper level above the tracks.

Bejing South departures board   Beijing South station ticket gate

One of the main departure boards...

 

The ticket gate for platforms 4 & 5...

Quick guide to boarding your train at Shanghai Hongqiao...   Map of Shanghai showing stations

How to get to Shanghai Hongqiao:  Honqiao railway station is 18km (11 miles) west of central Shanghai.  You can travel there easily & cheaply by Shanghai metro (see Shanghai metro map) for just RMB 40 (40p, $1), allow 40 minutes for the metro journey.  Or you can take a taxi, the taxi fare from central Shanghai is around RMB 40 (4, $7), allow at least 30 minutes for the taxi ride.

X-ray baggage check:  If you arrive by taxi, you arrive outside the main departures hall and there's a simple X-ray baggage check and 'wanding' by security staff when you enter the hall.  If you arrive by metro, you emerge from the metro at the arrivals level downstairs, follow the signs up the escalators to the departures hall, with a simple X-ray baggage check and 'wanding' by security staff before you enter the hall.

Shanghai Hongqiao station exterior   Shanghai Hongqiao station departures hall

Shanghai Hongqiao station & taxi rank...

 

Shanghai Hongqiao departure hall...

Shanghai Hongqiao departure gate   Shanghai Hongqiao business class lounge

Ticket gate 1, for the 10:00 G14 to Beijing...

 

Business Class lounge in the main hall near gate 1.  It offers complimentary tea, coffee & snacks.


Panorama photo:  Shanghai at night...


Shanghai at night in shanghai


Suggested hotels in Beijing & Shanghai...

In Beijing:  Raffles Beijing Hotel...

The Raffles Beijing Hotel dates from 1917, making it one of the oldest hotels in Beijing, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Hotel.  It's just a few minutes walk along the main road to Tiananmen Square and the entrance to the Forbidden City, 3 minutes walk from Wanfujing Metro Station.  Run by the Raffles Group who also run the famous Raffles in Singapore, service is excellent and the colonial-style rooms spacious.  An extensive breakfast buffet is served in the modern extension behind the main building.  The hotel was originally Block B of the Beijing Hotel, Block C next door dating from 1954 is now the Beijing Grand Hotel and Block D dating from 1974 retains the name Beijing Hotel and is a state-run hotel.

Raffles Beijing Hotel lobby   Raffles Beijing Hotel Landmark Room.

A cheaper option, still with good reviews and reasonable location, try the Pentahotel Beijing.  It's informal, comfortable, and walking distance from Beijing Railway station - although you're better off taking a taxi if you have luggage.  There's a bar and noodle bar downstairs.

In Shanghai:  Astor House Hotel or Fairmont Peace Hotel...

The Astor House Hotel is the top choice for history, character and faded grandeur with an excellent location at the north end of the famous Bund, just north of the distinctive steel Garden Bridge.  Yet it has rooms which even budget travellers can afford, around 50/60/$80 for a double.  Established in 1846 and claimed to be the oldest grand hotel in China, parts of the current building date from 1907 and its walls are covered with photos of Old Shanghai.  Guests have included U.S. President Ulysses Grant, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin.  There's more information on its history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astor_House_Hotel_(Shanghai).

The Fairmont Peace Hotel is the place if you have a generous budget (190+ for a double) and want history and grandeur with 5-star comfort, located right in the centre of the Bund in a classic building which dates from 1929.  Originally the Cathay Hotel, pre-1949 it was regarded as Shanghai's most prestigious hotel.  The relief murals in the lobby remind me of New York's Empire State or Chrysler Buildings!  There's more information on its history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Hotel.

Astor House Hotel Shanghai   Astor House Hotel lobby.

Astor House Hotel...

 

Astor House Hotel lobby...

Astor House Hotel corridor.   Astor House Hotel bedroom

 



Back to home page