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China Train Types

According to the speed and running distance, Chinese trains are categorized into various types, numbering with a special letter to indicate their category.

  • G- High-Speed Electronic Multiple Units (EMU) Train

    Trains starting with G are those running the fastest for long distance in China, with a highest speed reaching 350km/h. But they are limited to 300km/h to 200km/h in different railways. This fastest EMU train helps to save time in a great way. For example, the Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway is able to cover the 1,068 kilometers within three hours.

  • C- Intercity EMU

    As one of the fastest trains in China, trains characterizing with C are intercity EMUs that run between two nearby cities for short distance. Taking the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway as an example, it covers a distance of 120 kilometers and only takes about 30 minutes.

  • D- Electronic Multiple Units (EMU)

    D typed train is also called Hexiehao (Harmony) or bullet train in China. It is designed to have a top speed of 250km/h. D trains are extensively used to serve fast and frequent transport between main cities, such as Beijing-Shanghai, Shanghai –Suzhou and Shenzhen-Guangzhou.

  • Z – Direct Express

    With a top speed of 160km/h, Z categorized train is an efficient train for long-distance travels in China. Generally, Z train runs directly to the destination or with a few midway stops. Some Z trains are only equipped with soft-sleepers and soft-seats.

  • T – Express

    Trains featured with T has a top speed of 140km/h. They run for long distance and have a few limited stops in major cities on the way. Almost every T train provides soft-sleeper, soft-seat, hard-sleeper and hard-seat.

  • K- Fast

    K series trains with a top speed of 120km/h are relatively slower than T trains as they have more stops. This type is equipped with air-condition and the four classed berths of soft-sleeper, soft-seat, hard-sleeper and hard seat.

Accommodation Fast
Accommodation Fast trains are identified with four digits, starting with 1, 2, 4 or 5. Though this type of trains have the same top speed of 120km/h with the K ones, they runs slower than the K-series as they have more stops on the way. At present, most of this typed train are equipped with air-conditions.
Different from the accommodation fast trains, trains of this type are numbered with the four digits of 6, 7, 8 or 9. They have a highest speed of 100km/h, but they are divided into the slowest trains as they are designed to have as many stops as possible. Most accommodation trains are green trains that have no air-condition.
Commuter Train
Trains of this type are especially for the commuter of railway staffs, so they are not available to the public passengers.
L – Temporary
Trains featured with L are those trains operating to alleviate the transport stress during peak travel time, such as Chinese Spring Festival and the National Holiday. L-series trains are temporary ones and are not listed in the official fixed schedule. This type of train is not recommended as a choice if there are other options as they are relatively slow and are regularly subject to delay.
Y – Tourist
Y categorized trains are provided for the convenience of tourists when heading to popular tourism cities. For instance, Y-trains from Beijing to Qinhuangdao fall into this type. Y-trains have the same running speed with the accommodation ones.
S – Suburban
With a highest speed of 100km/h, S-trains are to provide communication between the city center and the suburban areas. This kind of train runs for short distance in day times, so they are not equipped with soft seats and sleeper berths. At present, the S2 series run between Beijing North Railway Station and the Yanqing County which is in the northern suburb of Beijing is an example of this type. The train has stops at Qinghuayuan, Nankou, and Badaling Great Wall.
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