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The better the category of train, the faster it is likely to be, and the more modern & comfortable the carriages are likely to be.Slightly higher fares are charged for the better train categories.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.But there's plenty of availability in all classes tomorrow (2nd August) including 13 seats in business class and 36 seats in 1st class and 617 in 2nd class.Collecting your tickets at Beijing railway station ticket office...
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.
China has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world, and trains link almost every town & city.
Chinese trains are a safe, comfortable & cheap way to travel around China, and a Chinese train journey is an experience in itself, in contrast with less reliable and environmentally-unfriendly internal flights. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (local trains in Hong Kong plus through trains HK to Beijing & Shanghai):
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.
So arrive in plenty of time, at least 40 minutes before your train leaves, assuming you have already collected your ticket. Whether you arrive by subway or taxi, you end up on the station forecourt seen in the photo below left. Immediately after the ticket check, there's a luggage X-ray check as you enter the building itself. You can then check the departure display to see which waiting room to go to for your train.