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China Train Types

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China Train Types

Chinese trains are divided according to their speed into various classes, identified with different letters and numbers. The letters refer to different classes:
G High Speed Electric Multiple Units (EMU) Train
This is the fastest running for long distance in China, the top speed of which could reach 350km/h. Currently, the G train could finish the 1,068-kilometers Wuhan Guangzhou High Speed Railway in 3 hours, the 301 kilometers Shanghai Nanjing High Speed Railway in 73 minutes and the 458 kilometers Zhengzhou Xian High speed Railway in 2 hours.

C Intercity EMU
This is also the fastest kind, but runs for short travel distance between two nearby cities, such as the 120 kilomters Beijing Tianjin Intercity Railway.

D Electric Multiple Units (EMU)
This type is also called Hexiehao or bullet trains in China. The designed top speed is 250km/h. They have been widely used for serving fast and frequent transport between main cities, such as Beijing-Shanghai, Shanghai-Suzhou and Shenzhen-Guangzhou.

Z Direct Express
This type with a top speed of 160km/h is also an efficient transport for long distance travel. Generally, they run directly to the destination or with some stops on the way. On the other hand, some are equipped with only soft sleepers and soft seats.

T Express
This kind has limited stops on the routes, mainly in these major cities. The highest speed is 140km/h. Almost every T series is equipped with soft sleeper, soft seat, hard sleeper and hard seat.

K Fast
This series with a top speed of 120km/h has more stops than the T ones. They are equipped with air condition and the four classes of berths.

L Temporary
This series is in operation only during the peak travel time, such Chinese Spring Festival and the National Holiday. They will not be listed in the official fixed schedule. It is not advised to take this type if you have other options as they are routinely subject to delays.

Y Tourist
This type is for the convenience of tourist and their destinations are the popular tourism cities. For example, there are Y trains departing between Beijing and Qinhuangdao. Its speed is the same as the accommodation type.

S Suburban
Running at 100km/h as the highest speed, this type is used for communicating city center and the suburban areas. It has no soft seats and sleeper berths as it only travels within short distance in day times. Currently, the S2 series travel between Beijing North Railway Station and the Yanqing County in the northern suburb of the city with stops at Qinghuayuan, Nankou, and Badaling Great Wall.


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