Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chinese High Speed Rail

I made a second visit to Shanghai to visit friends and took a day trip to Nanjing using the new Chinese bullet train.
Above is Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, this place is huge and new!!  I showed up here without a ticket but just a plan for a day trip to Nanjing.  In Japan, within 15 minutes of showing up at a train station you will have a ticket and 10 to 30 minutes after that you will be on a train going somewhere.  At this station, it was not so obvious what to do and it took about a hour to get a ticket and about 30 minutes to wait for the train after getting a ticket.  But this is partly the fault of assuming it would be easy to walk up to a window, get a ticket and get on a train.... don't bother trying the automatic ticket machines, it's a waste of time, just get in line and wait.
Above is the platform seen from the top of the escalator.  The train on the left goes to Nanjing and on to Beijing.  Beijing south is a 5-6 hour train ride from Shanghai... Shanghai to Beijing is 1462km, Detroit to Chicago is 455km, transit time by fastest train possible is the same... Assuming the Amtrak train is not delayed for snow or fright.
Above is the CRH-380A train, the first high speed train designed and manufactured in China.  It kind of replicates foreign technology.
If you ask for a window seat on the way to Nanjing and end up getting car 16 seat 4F, this is the window.
Above is the platform at Nanjing, waiting for the train to return to Shanghai.
Above is the platform back at Shanghai, a successful round trip on the Chinese high speed rail.  In total, I think it was 4 hours of touring around Nanjing, 2 hours round trip on a train and 3 hours trying to figure out how to get tickets and waiting for trains.  China needs to address those 3 hours, it should be 30 minutes at most.


Albert said...

That's how it was when we went from Shanghai to Hangzhou. It was so crowded at that place and foreigners can't use the automated machines because you need a Chinese passport/ID. Also there was only one English speaking line.

Demian Flores said...

There was an English line, wow, that was not obvious.