China has the largest network of high speed (bullet) trains in the world. The major investments of the last several years are expected to continue as most area of China will be covered over time.
There are two categories of high-speed trains: G trains and D trains. These letters refer to the prefixes of the train number like G650 or D325. G trains are the fastest with speed up to 350km/h while D trains have speeds of up to 250km/h. Some D trains are overnight trains with sleeper compartment. These trains are covered in a different video. This video is strictly about day trains.
China’s bullet trains offer a selection of classes of travel. Most common is 2nd class.
These trains’ 2nd class seat are more comfortable than economy seats on flights with much better leg space. Seats are 42-43cm wide (17 inches) with leg space of 40cm (16 inches). These seats have a 2+3 configuration.
1st class seats are more comfortable with thicker seats in a 2+2 configuration. These seats are 47cm wide (19 inches) with leg space of 40 to 50cm (16-20 inches) depending on the train model.
The best seats are Business class. With a configuration of 2+1, the individual seats have many features, the best one being multiple controls of the seat position allowing the make the seat completely flat. Sometimes a snack is also served.
Our video does not cover the VIP class. This is only offered on a few trains. The seats are similar to 1st class but in a 2+1 configuration. These seats are expensive and offer poor value in our opinion.
A last class of service available on only some trains is the “Standing Ticket”. You can sometimes purchase these on sold out trains.