Firstly, find out what's on the Train

Services and facilities differs a lot from the high-speed trains (G, D and C trains) and normal speed trains (Z, T, K, number trains).

G/D/C/ Trains

Facilities: Dinning car, canteen bars, free boiling/cold water, fully air-conditioned, adjustable seats, 220V AC recharge socket available at each seat, Chinese/Western-style toilets, handicapped restroom.

Food: There are box meals serving by the attendant's trolley at rate of CNY 15 to CNY 60. Made-to-order meals are also available if going to the dining car, costing CNY 20- 60 per dish. Snacks available at the trolleys or canteen bars.

Water: Free boiling/cold water is available at each end of the coaches.
Toilets and Tissue: Chinese/Western-style toilets and handicapped restrooms available at the end of each coach, and quite clean. Tissue is offered but always ran out.

Coach environment: High-speed trains are fully air-conditioned and smoking is definitely prohibited. All seats are adjustable but conditions differ. See more of train type and seat type. Good news is that each seat equipped with 220V AC recharge socket and can be turnaround to keep you always the same direction with the train.

K/T/Number Only Trains

Facilities: dinning coach, free boiling/cold water, fully air-conditioned, Chinese-style toilets. Western-style toilets only available in soft sleeper coach on certain trains.

Food: There are box meals serving by the attendant's trolley at rate of CNY 15 also. Made-to-order meals are also available if going to the dining car, that almost Z, T, K trains offer. Snacks available at the trolleys.
Toilets and Tissue: Chinese-style toilets. Western-style toilets only available in soft sleeper coach on certain trains. Sanitary condition is not guaranteed. No tissue available.


Water: Free boiling/cold water is available at end of each coach.
Coach environment: fully air-conditioned except few number trains. Smoking is prohibited in the coaches, but allowed at toilet or connections. So it is not comfortable if you are alert of smoking. Seats are fixed and 220V AC recharge socket only available in some soft sleepers and luxury. See more of train type and seat type.

Packing Tips

Packing strategy differs from the train take, how long the distance is and type of seats you choose. Bear in mind some basic things as below besides the required document – ticket and document you used to book train including passport, ID card for Mainland Chinese, or Mainland Travel Permit for passengers from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Noted with Luggage allowance

Noted with Luggage allowance China Rail do not apply strict regulations and check-in procedures as flights up to now, but it is advisable to take luggage that exceed 160 cm in total length, unless rod-shaped. It is wise to pack light. Limited Luggage storage space is above and under your seat sharing with other passengers. In most stations, your luggage have to be carried up and down a number of stairs to reach the boarding platforms.
No limitation for wheelchairs, which can be brought onto the train for free but have to be folded as there are no enough space to put aside of you except business class seat.
Prohibited items include but not limited to dangerous articles like fireworks, knives and fragile items.

Consider lightweight luggage with wheels

If you will travel mostly by train, it is important to take a lightweight luggage with wheels. At most of the stations do not have escalators, you need to go up and down the stairs from departure hall to platforms.
Take a smaller bag to stay with you all the time to keep your valuables – wallets, passport, electronics etc. It is very important if taking Z, T, K trains with hard sleeper (un-closed cabin), crowded soft seat and hard seat coaches.

Pashmina or small blanket

All kinds of trains are fully air-conditioned. Take a pashmina or small blanket to against the chill.

Tissue, Water and Snacks

Free water and snacks only available when taking Business Class Seat and Superior Class Seat. It is on sale onboard the train, however, you'd better to prepare your own depending on your journey duration.

Entertainment for long distance journey

Nothing to worry about if it is a short journey, like 30 minutes from Shanghai to Suzhou, or one hour from Shanghai to Hangzhou. You might be interested in the scenery along the way more other than the electronics.
Only G, D, C trains offer 220V AC recharge socket and soft sleeper seat on certain Z, K, T trains. Wifi is not available and mobile signal is not stable due to the high speed.

Must list for overnight trains

Towel and washcloth; Wet wipes, hand sanitizer or soap; Sandals (for sleeper seats), food and snacks; bedding (for sleeper seats) if you prefer your own; sleeping mask etc.