At other times, trains can still sell out but it's usually possible to secure seats or sleepers a few days ahead. If you run an enquiry on for today, tomorrow or a few days time, you'll see how many tickets are left in each class for each train.

As I write this, most Beijing-Shanghai trains are sold out for the day after tomorrow, but a few trains still have seats left the day after that. First the good news: Chinese Railways launched online booking in 2011 at

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Immediately afterwards there's a luggage X-ray check into the departures hall. Indicator boards on the departure concourse show which train is allocated to which waiting room - here you can see G71 is allocated to waiting room 8.

There is usually at least hour between departures from a given room. You may also find departure boards showing the status of each train.

This page will help you understand & plan train travel in China, & arrange your train tickets. Agencies selling Chinese train tickets online: com.

On this page you'll find: Beijing to Ulan Bator & Moscow by Trans-Siberian railway & onwards to Paris & London Beijing, Xian & rmqi to Almaty & Astana (Kazakhstan) Beijing to Hanoi (Vietnam) by train, onwards to Saigon, on to Phnom Penh & Bangkok Beijing to Japan by ferry Beijing to South Korea by ferry Beijing to North Korea by train Beijing to Taiwan by ferry Hong Kong to Hanoi (Vietnam) Kunming to Hanoi (Vietnam) by train Lhasa to Kathmandu by bus & onwards to to Delhi How to buy tickets online How to buy tickets at the station How to check train schedules & fares Maps of China's train network Collecting tickets bought online How to read a Chinese train ticket Finding & boarding your train What are Chinese trains like? Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (local trains in Hong Kong plus through trains HK to Beijing & Shanghai):

Most trains will be shown as 'on time' with the most immediate departures shown as 'waiting', which means you can enter that train's specific waiting room.

Once a train is ready for boarding, usually about 30 minutes before departure, it's shown as 'check in', meaning you can proceed through to the platform.

The office is to the right of the main building, accessed directly from the forecourt. You can collect from any ticket window, although there's an English speaking window if you like... Beijing station is in central Beijing, 3 km from Tiananmen Square.

It has it's own station on the Beijing Subway, called simply Beijing Railway Station - see Beijing subway map. Beijing main station dates from 1959 and whilst Beijing's South & West stations are modern and airport-like, negotiating Beijing's original station is a more chaotic old-style Asian experience.

So book as many days ahead as you can or pre-arrange tickets online as explained below.

Although as China's new G-category high-speed trains are expensive by Chinese standards you'll sometimes find Beijing-Shanghai or Beijing-Xian high-speed train tickets available on the day of travel or the day before, assuming you are flexible as to the class or exact departure time.

You can travel there easily & cheaply by Beijing Subway (see Beijing subway map) for just RMB 4 (50p,

Once a train is ready for boarding, usually about 30 minutes before departure, it's shown as 'check in', meaning you can proceed through to the platform.

The office is to the right of the main building, accessed directly from the forecourt. You can collect from any ticket window, although there's an English speaking window if you like... Beijing station is in central Beijing, 3 km from Tiananmen Square.

It has it's own station on the Beijing Subway, called simply Beijing Railway Station - see Beijing subway map. Beijing main station dates from 1959 and whilst Beijing's South & West stations are modern and airport-like, negotiating Beijing's original station is a more chaotic old-style Asian experience.

So book as many days ahead as you can or pre-arrange tickets online as explained below.

.70), allow 40 minutes for the subway journey.