Booking high speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jan 12, 2012 2:14 PM Last Post By: Shefgab
Jan 11, 2012 1:34 AM
I will arrive (in a party of two) on Pudong Airport at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 17th.
After that I need to travel to Nanjing as fast as possible.
So I figured I should take the Maglev from Pudong Airport to Longyang Road Station,
Then transit to metro line 2 to People’s Square Station,
From People’s Square Station, transit to metro line 1 to Shanghai Railway Station.
Then I would need to take a high speed train to Nanjing.
1. Is Shanghai Railway Station the right station to take the train to Nanjing from, or should I take the trainfrom Shanghai Hongqiao Station?
2. Will I have problems booking tickets for the high speed train on the spot at Shanghai Railway Station?
3. If the answer to #2 is yes, what can I do to minimize uncertainty?
4. Are there any other things I should take into account?
5. How long should the entire trip take me?
6. How long does customs, luggage pickup, transport etc, take at Pudong Airport? (total transit time between flight arrival and maglev departure)
Please help me out fellow travellers :)
Jan 11, 2012 2:11 AM
1Both Shanghai Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Station are served by high-speed trains to Nanjing, but I suggest you use Shanghai Hongqiao Station rather than Shanghai Station:
- Less chaotic
- More frequent departures, in some cases, faster
- No need to transfer to Line 1 at People's Square
Fastest non-stop Shanghai Hongqiao to Nanjing train takes 67 minutes (~300 km distance), but most trains stop at a few intermediate stations result of a 1.5 to 2 hours travel time. There are two different but paralleled high-speed rail lines connect Nanjing and Shanghai, both operate at 300 km/h, train numbered G### (letter G followed by 1 to 3 digits) use the Beijing-Shanghai HSR Line and stop at Nanjing South Station, train numbered G#### use the Shanghai-Nanjing HSR Line, and stop in Nanjing Station. Both Nanjing South and Nanjing are served by Nanjing Metro. Usually, the smaller the train number, the faster the speed. G trains are faster than D trains.
You can have someone book you a ticket on the Internet in advance, or you can do it yourself if you read Chinese and have a Chinese bank card. You can also buy the ticket in person once arriving in Hongqiao Station, but the queue may be long and the immediate next train may not be available due to the Chinese New Year. But even you don't have a booking, I think at worst you may have to wait in Hongqiao Station for up to a couple of hours as the service is reasonable frequent.
Jan 11, 2012 2:31 AM
21. Is Shanghai Railway Station the right station to take the train to Nanjing from, or should I take the trainfrom Shanghai Hongqiao Station?
The fastest trains (G trains) to Nanjing depart from the Hongqiao station.
Subway to Hongqiao: 1 hour
G Train to Nanjing: 1 hour 10 - 2 hours, depending on the number of stops. Some trains only stop twice. Some stop 5 times.
Jan 11, 2012 3:36 AM
3I strongly suggest you scrap all the maglev-subway nonsense, and take a cab directly from Pudong to Shanghai Hongqiao Station. Particularly if you have luggage. Longyang Maglev Station is notoriously hard to get cabs (or cabs that will use the meter). You seriously do NOT want to do a subway line 2 to line 1/ People's Square transfer with luggage. And Shanghai Hongqiao is where you want to go, not Shanghai Main. There is also a bus that goes from Pudong to Hongqiao Airport (which is now Airport/Railport) so that might be a cheaper and more hassle-free option. Time wise will be similar to cab or slightly more--allow an hour+.
I suspect on the 17th, you will still be able to get bullet train tickets on a walk-up basis for a Nanjing-bound train leaving within a couple of hours of your arrival at Hongqiao Station. Maybe even the next one out. You'll need your passport to buy. Expect the ticket windows to be a nightmare. Park one of you with the luggage somewhere and the person with sharpest elbows take both passports to the ticket queue.
At one time I thought there was a direct long-distance bus from Pudong Airport to Nanjing, leaving at certain intervals during the day. Not sure of status of this now, but it would save a bunch of angst of switching transport methods.
Jan 11, 2012 7:09 AM
4Thanks for the comments, yaohua2000, egjeg and jiejie!
I think we will do the following in the end;
1. Take the Maglev from Pudong Airport to Longyang Road Station (7 minutes)
2. Transit to metro line 2 to Shanghai Hongqiao Station (46 minutes)
3. Go to ticket office and ask for tickets for the first train to Nanjing
We travel with backpacks and a cabin-size trolley (we are going to live in Nanjing for a semester), so I don't think its much of a problem to transit to maglev and metro. Taking a taxi is 3 times more expensive per person, and I prefer travelling on a shoestring :)
Jan 11, 2012 8:10 AM
5There is a train ticket office at the Longyang Road Station. So if you are taking the maglev, get off and maybe you'll have a bit less queuing there vs at Hongqiao Station. Just make sure you buy a departure that gives you plenty of time to get to the station--maybe something departing at least 2 hours later.
I think you have too much stuff to take through the metro system. Don't underestimate how much walking and stairs you're going to have to be doing. If on a shoestring, you should take the shuttle bus from Pudong to Hongqiao directly, no transfers en route and your big stuff can go in the cargo bay under. I think you are forcing things just so you can ride the maglev, which isn't exactly a shoestring travel mode.
Jan 11, 2012 8:35 AM
6Do they still sell standing tickets on these high speed trains? It's not the end of the world to be standing for that length of time even with luggage. When we were taking a high speed train to Suzhou we just arrived at the station, brought a ticket using one of the electronic machines (easy to use and accepts credit cards) and departed fairly quickly. We ended up with a standing ticket but it was such a short trip it didn't matter. This was 1 year ago...
Jan 11, 2012 11:11 AM
7We went by metro from Pudong to Hongqiao a year ago. As jiejie says, it is crowded - though if you've been used to taking subway to New York's Penn Station or Grand Central (Lex Avenue Line, no. 6 train!) or any of Moscow's nine train stations (the Ring Line!), or, God forbid, to Rome Termini, you probably will find it nothing special. Although, even though the Pudong-Hongqiao line is notionally a single line, you do change trains in the middle (Guanglan Station), so you probably won't be sitting all the way.
A fairly practical option are the fairly frequent buses from Pudong Airport to Hungqiao Airport (Bus line no. 1, Y30) and various downtown destinations, including Bus line No. 5 (Y22) route to Shanghai (main) train station (which has a fair number of G trains to Nanjing, even if not as many as Hongqiao). The buses are a lot cheaper than the taxi or Maglev and, in my experience, not much slower than the taxi - they go in the same traffic, after all. At least you're guaranteed a seat all the way, and space for your luggage.
The bus to Shanghai (main) Railway Station will drop you off somewhere in the big square outside of the station. I am not sure how close to the Hongqiao Railway station the Pudong Airport -Hongqiao Airport bus takes you. But even if it's not an easy walking distance, there is probably some kind of a shuttle there at Hongqiao - or maybe you'll need to take subway for 1 stop. (And out there, the subway is much less crowded than in central city).
Also, one thing to note: a year ago we were able to buy tickets in ticket vending machines at Hongqiao, but now, I believe, passengers need to present an ID to buy a ticket - which means that unless you have a machine-readable Chinese internal ID card, you probably will have to line up at the ticket window with your passport.
Jan 11, 2012 11:27 AM
Jan 12, 2012 2:14 PM
9There are also a small number of direct flights from Pudong to Nanjing oeprated by China Eastern. Check on Elong.
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