Beijing to Shanghai by high-speed train
 

Beijing to Shanghai by 350 km/h (217 mph) high-speed train.  Or save time & a hotel bill by sleeper train...

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 the World's Fastest Passenger Train, a 350 km/h (217 mph) high-speed train taking as little as 4 hours 18 minutes or a time-effective 250 km/h (156 mph) express sleeper train which 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?

  What are the D-category sleeper trains like?

  Quick guide to boarding at Beijing South

  Quick guide to boarding at Shanghai Hongqiao

  Hotel suggestions in Beijing & Shanghai

Train times, southbound...

 Beijing ► Shanghai by high-speed train

 Train number:

G101

G5

G105

G143

G107

G111

G113

G1

G41

G115

G117

G7

 Beijing South station depart

06:43

07:00

07:20

07:50

08:05

08:35

08:50

09:00

09:15

09:20

09:25

10:00

 Shanghai Hongqiao arrive

12:40

|

13:08

13:12

13:47

14:22

14:33

13:28

14:49

15:10

15:37

14:28

 Shanghai main station

-

11:40

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

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

 Train number:

G119

G121

G125

G9

G129

G131

G133

G135

G137

G139

G3

G43

 Beijing South station depart

10:05

10:20

11:10

12:00

12:10

12:20

12:50

13:05

13:35

13:45

14:00

14:05

 Shanghai Hongqiao arrive

15:47

16:25

16:59

16:36

17:56

18:10

18:40

18:54

19:33

19:53

18:28

19:45

 Shanghai main station

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

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

 Train number:

G141

G145

G11

G155

G147

G169

G151

G13

G153

G157

G15

G17

G21

 Beijing South station depart

14:10

14:35

15:00

15:45

15:50

16:40

16:45

17:00

17:15

17:36

18:00

19:00

19:08

 Shanghai Hongqiao arrive

20:05

20:34

19:28

21:41

22:00

22:42

23:02

21:36

23:11

23:40

22:36

23:18

|

 Shanghai main station

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

23:36

 Beijing ► Shanghai by sleeper train

 Train number:

Z281

T109

D701

D709

D705

 Beijing main station depart

18:58

20:05

19:22

-

21:21

 Beijing South station depart

|

  |

|

19:42

|

 Shanghai South arrive

09:53

11:00

07:25

07:42

09:20

 Shanghai main station arrive

-

11:00

07:25

07:42

09:20

All trains shown here run every day, check exact times for your date of travel online as shown here.  A few extra trains run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.

G-category 300 km/h or 350 km/h high-speed trains have 2nd, 1st & Business class seats, see the photos & advice here & watch the video guide.

D-category 250 km/h express sleeper trains have soft sleepers & 2nd class seats, some may have hard sleepers, see photos & advice.

Z-category classic sleeper train Z281/Z282 has soft & hard sleepers, soft & hard seats, see info & advice.

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

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).  One or two high-speed G trains use Shanghai main station as shown here, actually in the city centre.

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.

Route map:  There's an excellent interactive map at cnrail.geogv.org/enus/route/CN~G0001 which you can search by station or train number.  I've set up that link to show the route taken by Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train G1.

Check current times for all trains at www.china-diy-travel.com or 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

G6

G106

G108

G110

G120

G8

G112

G114

G2

G116

 Shanghai main station

-

-

07:00

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

 Shanghai Hongqiao depart

06:26

06:40

|

07:12

07:22

07:28

07:51

08:00

08:05

08:15

09:00

09:33

 Beijing South station arrive

12:29

12:33

11:34

13:13

13:23

13:38

13:33

12:24

14:08

14:13

13:28

15:23

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

 Train number:

G10

G42

G122

G124

G126

G130

G12

G132

G134

G138

G140

G4

 Shanghai main station

-

-

-

-

-

-

12:00

-

-

-

-

-

 Shanghai Hongqiao depart

10:00

10:26

10:41

11:00

11:05

11:20

|

12:17

13:01

13:30

13:35

14:00

 Beijing South station arrive

14:28

16:08

16:43

16:18

17:05

17:29

16:38

18:32

18:58

19:28

19:41

18:28

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

 Train number:

G142

G14

G146

G148

G170

G150

G152

G16

G154

G44

G158

G18

G22

 Shanghai main station

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

 Shanghai Hongqiao depart

14:10

15:00

14:52

15:23

15:52

16:05

16:18

17:00

17:13

17:23

17:34

18:00

19:00

 Beijing South station arrive

20:18

19:36

20:48

21:13

21:18

22:00

22:12

21:36

22:48

23:08

23:29

22:36

23:18

 Shanghai ► Beijing by sleeper train

 Train number:

T110

D702

Z282

D706

D710

 Shanghai main station depart

17:57

 19:09

-

 21:18

 21:24

 Shanghai South station depart

  |

 |

19:30

 |

 |

 Beijing South station arrive

  |

 |

|

 |

 09:22

 Beijing main station arrive

10:08

07:12

10:22

09:24

-

All trains shown here run every day, check exact times for your date of travel online as shown here.  A few extra trains run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.

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

 

By G-category 300 km/h train

2nd class seat

1st class seat

Business class seat

 Beijing-Shanghai one-way per person:

RMB 553

RMB 933

RMB 1,748

 Fares for sleeper trains

 

By D-category express sleeper train

By T-category slow sleeper train

2nd class seat

4-berth soft sleeper

Hard sleeper

Soft sleeper

Deluxe sleeper

 Beijing-Shanghai one-way per person

RMB 309

RMB 615

RMB 305

RMB 477

RMB 880

$1 = approx RMB 7.  £1 = approx RMB 8.

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.

 

 

USE PROMO CODE 'OCTZK' to reduce the booking fee to just $5, except for tickets to or from Tibet or for travel at peak periods such as Chinese New Year.

How to buy tickets online...

Buying tickets at the station:  See advice here

What are the G-category high-speed trains like?

Two different types of train operate the G-category high-speed trains between Beijing and Shanghai, Fuxing meaning revival and Heixe meaning harmony.  If your train has a single-digit or 2-digit train number (for example G1 or G15) and a Beijing-Shanghai journey time of 4h18-4h43, then it will be a 350 km/h CR400 Fuxing.  If it has a 3-digit train number (for example G117 or G120) & journey time over 5h it is likely to be a 300 km/h CRH380 HeixeSee tips for travel by high-speed train about luggage, seat numbering, food, WiFi....

Fuxing (revival) trains CR400A & CR400B...

The fastest G-category services are operated by Fuxing (revival) trains.  These are the world's fastest passenger trains, designed for up to 400 km/h and operating in service at up to 350 km/h (217 mph).  There are two designs, the red & grey CR400A (pictured below left) or the white & gold CR400B (below right), but the interiors are the same.  Each design comes in an 8-car & 16-car version, and offers 2nd class, 1st class & business class plus a small cafe counter selling Chinese tea, coffee, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  Unlike the Heixe trains there are no sit-down cafe tables, just the serving counter.

CRH400B Fuxing train   CR400B Fuxing train

A CR400A Fuxing at Beijing South, courtesy of Brett Cubit.

 

A CRH400B Fuxing.  Fuxing means revival.

2nd class seats on a Fuxing train   First class seats on a Fuxing 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.  Larger photo.

 

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

Business class seats on a CR400A Fuxing train   Business class seats on a Fuxing train

Business class seats are arranged 1+2 across the car width, in a spacious carpeted car and on a Fuxing there is also a small business class area with 5 seats at the end of the train, seen here.  The seats recline electrically and become a flat bed at the touch of a button.  Each seat has a power socket.  Business class is expensive even by western standards, but if you can stretch that far it's well worth it.  The fare includes one hot tray meal and a constant stream of tea, coffee, apple juice, orange juice or soft drinks.  There's a VIP lounge for business class passengers at Beijing South & Shanghai Hongqiao.  Business class is expensive even by western standards, but if you can stretch that far it's well worth it.  Click the images for larger photos...

Heixe (harmony) trains CRH400A & CRH400B...

Other G-category trains are operated by Heixe (harmony) trains, which also come in two designs, the Chinese-designed CRH380A and the German-designed CRH380B.  Both types are designed for speeds up to 380 km/h and operate at up to 300 km/h (186 mph) in service.  They have the same classes as Fuxing trains, although the colour scheme is different.

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

CRH380B...  German-designed by Siemens, you can see the similarity to a German Railways ICE3 train.  There is an 8-car & 16-car version.

 

CRH380A...  These are Chinese-designed 300km/h trains with 8-car & 16-car versions.

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

2nd class seats on a CRH380B, arranged 2+3 across the car width.  May not be power sockets.

 

1st class seats arranged 2+2 across the car width.  There is a power socket for each pair of seats, in the seat base.

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

Business class seats on a CRH380B.  On a 16-car CRH380 you'll find one whole car of business class seats plus two business class seats in the very end compartment at each end of the train.

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

Buffet car on a CRH380B with counter & tables 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 on a CRH380B, immediately behind the cab at each end of the train.  On CRH380 Heixe trains the sightseeing area is arranged like this, with two business class seats behind the cab, then a row of three narrower 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).

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 (the term 'sightseeing' has officially now been dropped). 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."

Tips for travel by high-speed train...

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

 

What are the D-category sleeper trains like?

CRH2E high-speed sleeper trains...

These modern express sleeper trains can travel at up to 250km/h (156 mph), although in this case they use the classic route and won't exceed 160km/h (100 mph).  The CRH2E 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.

CRH2E capsule-type high-speed sleeper...

A new type of sleeper was deployed on some Beijing-Shanghai D-category night trains in July 2017.  Instead of conventional 4-berth soft sleeper compartments the new train has open-plan upper & lower berths arranged longitudinally along the car walls, with an upper and lower row of windows for upper and lower berths, see this video.  Each berth has its own individual curtains for privacy.  If you use www.china-diy-travel.com to check times & buy tickets this new type is described as capsule sleeper.  However, it's probably no longer operating on this route now the Revival Green trains are being delivered...

   

New sleeper train on the D311.  Courtesy Gilbère Mannie.  Click the images for larger photos.

CR200J  Revival Green sleepers...

Yet another type of fast sleeper train has now been deployed on the Beijing-Shanghai route from 2019, the CR200J Revival Green.  Indeed, you may find these new trains operate all the Beijing-Shanghai D-category sleeper trains from early 2019.  Painted in a rather bright green livery, these are 16-car sleeper trains designed for up to 200 km/h mainly on the classic network, but also on some high-speed lines.  They have 7 soft sleeper cars, each of which has ten lockable 4-berth soft sleeper compartments, 6 hard sleeper cars with bunks in doorless compartments of 6, several 2nd class seats cars and a buffet counter in car 9 serving snacks and drinks including beer.  If a D-category train is shown online as having hard sleepers, it's a CR200J Revival Green.  If you get any more interior photos of a soft sleeper compartment on these trains or a power car front end shot, please let me know!

CR200J sleeper train

A CR200J Revival Green sleeper train.  Photos in this section are courtesy of David Feng...

 

Hard sleepers on a CR200J, in doorless compartments of 6 berths, two lower, two middle, two upper.  Fresh clean sheets, duvet and pillow are supplied.  There are small tables & tip-up seats in the corridor for evening or morning use.  There are toilets (both normal & squat type) and a set of washbasins at the end of the corridor.

 

Soft sleepers on a CR200J, in lockable compartments of 4 berths, two lower & two upper.  There's a table under the window, and each berth comes with an individual berth light & USB power sockets.  Fresh clean sheets, duvet and pillow are supplied.  There are toilets (both normal & squat type) and a set of washbasins at the end of the corridor.  Luggage goes in your compartment, under the lower berth or on the floor.

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 5 (60p, $0.75), 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 5 (60p, $0.75), 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.


See panorama photo:  Shanghai at night...


Suggested hotels in Beijing & Shanghai...

In Beijing:  Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City...

The Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City 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.  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.  Tip:  The hotel's rooms are both in the original 1917 block and the modern block behind, ask for a room in the original 1917 building.

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:  Fairmont Peace Hotel...

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 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Hotel.


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