How advanced is high speed rail in China?
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45875.html 译者：Joyceliu
I live in China since five years and used high-speed trains many times and still do not understand what's so special about them. Their speed is basically the same of the high-speed trains in Italy, same comfort too. They are like all high-speed trains in developed countries.
Sumit Mullick, A Quora Enthusiast
They have the only passenger-carrying maglev in the entire world. You cannot go higher in tech than that (till these capsule-in-pipe dream trains become a reality outside test labs).
In my limited experience, I’ve found the Chinese high-speed trains to be excellent — smooth, quiet and operated in a well-organized manner. To me they are not quite as comfortable as the ones in Japan, but I would highly recommend them.
Amy Z, Support staffer at Organization for Transformative Works
There really is no comparison. Chinese bullet trains are the most advanced in the world. I went to China for the first time last year, and rode on the bullet trains twice. The seats were comfortable, the ride was unbelievably smooth, and the view (I got a window seat) was spectacular. Particularly since the track went up onto what basically would be freeway overpasses at times, so I got to see Shanghai from high up.
Roger Gilmartin, Traveling the world and learning wherever I go
I have been and continue to be a huge proponent of rail transport, from the light rail systems (including subways) within cities, to the high speed trains between cities.
The last time I was in China, I took the high speed train from Beijing to Xi’an, the experience exceeded my expectations:
it was very fast (max speed was 315 km/hr)
Very smooth (little sensation of movement except to see the scenery flash by)
The seats and leg room were more than adequate (my wife and I sat on the side with two seats)
Couldn't wait to repeat the experience!
Contrast that with the standard airport experience, which even in China, is more like other airports in other cities.
Left me wondering why the US can't get its act together and put in rapid rail up and down the East Coast (if nowhere else).
Stephen Thompson, Lived in China for 10 years, speak and write Chinese
China knows has two thirds of the world’s high speed trains. I have ridden on them and they are great - fast, clean, comfortable and convenient, except that the stations are mostly in suburban areas so transiting is inconvenient.
But they aren’t particularly advanced. The technology was copied from Germany, and go about the same speed as German, French and Japanese trains. The safety record is poor compared to Japan, which has never had a major high speed train accident.
Anyway, China has come a long way since the 19th century when the emperor purchased and tore up China’s first railway - because it damaged the Fengshui.
I have taken the high-speed trains in the mainland China so many times. It has been quite nice experience so far. The trains are punctual, clean, safe, and affordable. The food is not included in your ticket until you are travelling in the business class. Smoking is absolutely prohibited in the compartments. The train often crosses the speed of 300Km/hrs. If you are coming to China, I’d recommend you to try a fast bullet train ride.
However, most of the stretch of the train lies in the northeast, east, and southeast part of China. If you are wandering in the western part of the mainland, you may have to rely on the slow speed train or the Chinese buses.
But if you have to travel from east to west (or the other way round), the flights could be opted upon as the journey by a slow speed train may consume a hell lot of time.
Aji Pramudya, Madiun-Hangzhou-Ningbo
subjectively I believe it is now the most advanced HSR in the world, the interior is very nice and they are literally “HIGH SPEED” train, the train station is very good as well（图）
Anna Bomby, Master Mechanical Engineering & Automation, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2015)
The most advanced you can find. It’s currently better than any other train as China bought the best technologies from 5 other countries (Japan, France, Germany, South Korea and another one I forgot) to create this train.
They are planning to make an even better one, again in China, but also in Japan. The next train is supposed to link Guangzhou (extreme south) to Beijing (extreme north) in less than 4 hours for 2000km (currently taking 8h).
Greg Spolar, lived in China (2008-2017)
While I can't compare my exeriences with Chinese high-speed rail with any other country, I can compare them to my experiences on older Chinese trains and air travel.
Although some of the HS trains are starting to show their age, they are more comfortable and generally less crowded than the old trains. Tickets are about 3x the cost, but there is no comparison on travel time. Journeys that used to take days now pass in minutes. Like anything in China, even travel can be a chore at holidays. But most of the time you just go to the train station, buy a ticket, board a train and leave. You can enjoy the scenery too.
Flying, escecially the security screening is far more stressful. Arrive 2 hours early, check in, check bags (maybe), clear security, wait to board, board, wat to take off… and do it all after landing. You will probably walk much farther at the airport than the train station.
China's HS rail system is a gem: fast, convenient, and not too expensive, it has changed the face of travel in China
Diana Tevlon, Chief at Risks Assessment Group
I’ve travelled across the globe and had the opportunity to ride on Shinkansen, Japanese fast train, and French TGV.
Honestly, Chinese fast train is in a slightly different league as compared to the two.
Chinese is smoother and its first class is as good as business class cabins of Singapore Airline (SQ).
No wonder, recently people opt to ride this fast train from Beijing to Shanghai and vice versa instead of flying. Flying is no fun these days with its stringent security measures and worse, delays.
Please don’t compare it to Amtrak. It will be an insult if you do. Amtrak is now a thing of the past if we compare it to Chinese fast train.
If in doubt, please go and check it for yourself.
Edward Elric, Pharma industry
As stable as the following pic, is just one of the accptance criteria of this rail.
No other country can achieve this.
Enno Hyttrek, lives in Shanghai (2008-present)
It was interesting to read through the few answers here which are based on deep technical understanding and I could not possibly contribute an answer like that, not being a technical expert in train systems and train technology at all.
However, let me answer the question from a customer experience point of view.
As a regular passenger on Chinese G-trains (I live in Shanghai and commute to Suzhou on a regular basis and like many I also prefer the bullet train over a flight when traveling to Beijing), I can say one thing for sure: I prefer the allover experience of using the ICE system in my native Germany (to give an example I have enough experience with to compare) and I think in terms of seat comfort, build quality of the interior, seat space/leg space, well basically the environment that defines a big part of the travel experience the Chinese G-trains are a quite some way behind even such a relatively old system.
Of course I'm aware that a country like China has other requirements in terms of passenger numbers and so forth, and it is obvious that Chinese trains must be built cheaper to meet the numbers. I also must admit that the system is awesome in it's punctuality (something the German train system ironically is hopelessly random in nowadays).
Still, if I look at the German ICE (and considering how long it's been in service) and then at the Chinese trains, then my personal impression is that the Chinese ones in comparison are not particularly advanced. More like ‘nice try, you’re on the right way’ really. In my humble opinion …
In most 2nd class cars the seats are close to falling apart (most cars are equipped with seats that can be turned 180 degrees — I have still not found out what need/benefits is behind that feature but it's obvious that it makes the seat structure less solid), and I booked 1st class only once, because the improvement of the seat quality doesn't justify the added ticket costs at all (again: in comparison a 2nd class seat in a German ICE—even older stock—offers better seat comfort than the Chinese 1st class seats).
The absolutely ridiculous ticket booking system for those who do not have a Chinese ID card (you need to pick up your pre-ordered and prepaid ticket with your passport at a counter, usually waiting long in endless lines), the over-paranoid (yet inefficient) security procedure at check-in (up to three time your ticket will be checked—but from my observations I doubt the ‘bad people’ can really be kept out if they really want get in), the random seating system (no way to choose a preference for a window or aisle seat even when booking early, at least not when booking online) and the mostly rude and grumpy train personnel are some more aspects worth mentioning.
(Note: I've been living in China for 9 years, my wife is Chinese, and I really quite like it here — so my fellow Chinese hosts who may read this, please don't misunderstand my answer as some foreigner’s rant against you and your country. It is not meant like that at all. But from a passenger/customer point of view your government—which someone in an earlier answer pointed out is apparently the reason for the glory of the Harmony trains—still needs to work a bit on the bullet train system until it truly can be called ‘advanced’)
Minsberg, interested in science,engineering,economy and politics
I think it depends on the definition of “advanced”. As far as I understand, I will talk about it in two aspects: speed and convenient .
For some readers that not experience the high speed railway, I want to briefly introduce my experience. In the past few years, when someone want to go to beijing city from guangzhou city(Beijing and Guangzhou are the most developed city in China),normally, it takes about 40 hours by regular train. But now it only takes about 8–10 hours depends on the speed by present high speed railway.
So let us talk about the specific speed for high speed railway: around 250–400km/h for “G” train and 200km/h for “D” train. Of course, it can be faster, but now the specific speed is more proper for the situations. But if “advanced” means how fast in experiment or still under research or next generation products. I don’t know. What I can say is that i ever read a newspaper that during experiments, the high speed railway can reach around 1000km/h. I am not a expertise in this field. Perhaps the aerodynamics problems such as friction, vibration or some problems are still difficult.
因此，让我们谈谈高速铁路的具体速度:“G”号列车约250 - 400公里/小时，“D”号列车约200公里/小时。当然，它可以更快，但现在特定的速度更适合这种情况。但如果“先进”意味着在实验中或仍在研究中或下一代列车能达到的速度。我不知道。我能说的是，我曾经读过一份报纸，在实验中，高速铁路可以达到1000公里/小时。我不是这方面的专家。也许空气动力学方面的问题，如摩擦，振动或一些问题目前仍然是困难的。
Second is about convenient. You can’t imagine how convenient it is! Let us consider some situations: if you want to go to shanghai from beijing. It’s around 1300km in total. If you choose to drive, it takes more than 15 hours. If you choose to fly, we all know airport is away from the downtown, It always located in rural places, so perhaps you need to take 1 or 2 hours to the local airport ans 1 or 2 hours to the destination when you landing on. What’s more , you need to get one or two hours earlier to the airport for security check or others things. The whole trip is around 2 hours. The whole time is 1+1+1+2=5~2+2+2+2=8hours. However, train stations are always located in downtown, and it takes around 5 hours. The advantage for high speed are: 1. fast and flexible( if you are late for a train , you can take the next ,perhaps about several minites later for free).2. not too troublesome like plane. 3.cheaper. 4. never late.5. more comfortable compared to the most kinds of plane types. and so on.
第二个是便捷度。你根本无法想象它有多方便！让我们考虑一些情况：如果你想从北京去上海。路程总共大约1300公里。如果你选择开车，需要超过15个小时。如果你选择坐飞机，我们都知道机场总是位于远离市中心的郊区，所以也许你需要花上1到2个小时才能到达当地机场，下飞机后还需要花上1到2个小时才能到达目的地。更重要的是，你需要提前1到2个小时到机场进行安检或其他事情。整个旅程大约需要2个小时。所以全部时间是1+1+1+2=5~2+2+2+2=8小时。然而，火车站总是位于市中心，路程大约需要5个小时。高铁的优点是：1. 又快又灵活(如果你坐火车迟到了，你可以乘下一班火车，大概等几分钟就可以，免费改乘)。2. 不像飞机那么麻烦。3. 更便宜。4. 从不晚点。5. 与大多数飞机相比更舒适，等等。
High speed railway gives people a possible who works in big cities that can commute to small cities(their home) every day. For example: Shenzhen to Humen takes only 17 minutes. It combines the whole country into a new type: satellite cites around big cities. It makes the education, work, medical or others things more fair and everyone can enjoy the developed resources. Furthermore, it make all cities perfect connect no matter from east to west or north to south.
If there is a chance, i suggest you can enjoy taking a high speed railway. Experience is always more colorful than words.Thanks!
Sthitapragnya Deshpande, worked at China
Very advanced. I first travelled by high speed trains in China a few years back, from Tianjin to Beijing. Recently, I travelled a few times by the high speed train between Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen. It was as amazing and comfortable as the first time.
Booking these trains is smooth - online on an English language website.
Once I reached the station (which has been designed to accommodate at least double the current number of people), I scanned my passport onto an automatic machine and it gave me the paper tickets, which I fed into the entry gates.
There are about 20 such machines for Chinese people (since they have an Id card), while foreigners have 2 such machines available(for our passports). There was a police / security person around to help us.
Railway stations In China - especially the newer ones like Shenzhen Bei Rlwy Stn - 深圳北 - are always extremely comfortable to sit in, just like airports, with large indicators, and surprisingly good queue culture. Like in most stations, you sit in a large central waiting hall with shops and fast food restaurants all around, and line up at your high speed train platform about 20 minutes prior departure time.
The coaches are air conditioned and comfortable, an indicator at each end of the compartment reminded us after the prompt departure that we were travelling at 200 km/hr. I would have uploaded my photos of the ride, but something in the manner in which Quora appears on my comp in China prevents this!
Just like another observer here, I never even felt the high speed that the train was zooming at. The ride was smooth - I could easily write with my pen and paper. It was smoother than my earlier ride in the Eurostar from London to Paris and as smooth as my Bullet train ride in Osaka. We passed small villages, lots of fields, lots of untouched greenery as well as a few cities and stations.
The train had a canteen, plus the attendants kept bringing food in their trolleys every about 20 minutes. The windows are huge so you don't feel claustrophobic at all.
The first class coaches have 2 x 2 seating configuration while the second class coaches have 3x2 seating (a tad less comfortable though also air conditioned). Each seat has a plug point to charge laptops and mobiles, and this is almost always used by every passenger.
There was only one irritant (for me - though other passengers seem uniquely unaffected by this). Almost everyone had videos playing on their mobile or tablet, yet no one here uses ear phones! I find this odd as ear phones give far better sound quality, and hey - they are all made in China anyway. Not to mention the fact that when 40 people play their different movies loudly, the resulting cacophony can be disturbing for everyone.
Somehow, this noise does not seem to affect anyone other than me! Still, it is not as noisy, compared to train travel in other countries.
I find travelling by Chinese high speed trains far more comfortable than travelling by flight, and continue to use them as much as possible.
They are far cheaper than flights (188 RMB for the 3 hrs 45 mins / 607 kilometres journey from Shenzhen to Xiamen - as opposed to nearly 1200 RMB for a flight)
And yes - each train has a few boiling hot water dispensers - for your cup noodles / coffee (if you are a non Chinese Lao Wai) and for your 茶 tea (if you are Chinese). The wash rooms are rather clean, and are cleaned every 30 minutes. They are as clean as the wash rooms in the Southern rail coaches that I used often in UK.
Kåre Skak Pedersen, China since 2010. Still love it, still learning.
I’m a daily user of the G-trains, as their technical names are.
I haven’t much to add about the massive cattle drive we see on the National Holidays. It IS a little overwhelming. My contribution is more about convenience and the user experience.
I’m danish, coming from a tiny country and comparing to the quality trains we have back home, the Chinese G-train is out of this world.
But “How advanced” are they?
I will share two observations from my commutes on these trains:
Accelerations- and decelerations are incredibly smooth. If I stick my nose into the mobile phone and don’t pay attention to the view from my window, I can’t tell if we’re going 300km/h (186mph) or if we have stopped at a station.
“Smooth ride” is what comes to mind.
When the trains back home in Denmark, on a rare occasion, reaches their near-maximum speed - half the speed of the Chinese G-train, you don’t need to look out the window to determine that we’re roaring the tracks at aprox. 150–160km/h. Everything is rattling and shaking, not bad, but you have no doubt when the danish train is going ‘all in’.
当丹麦的火车难得接近最高速度——只有中国高铁一半的速度，你不需要看窗外就知道我们大约以150 - 160公里/小时的时速在铁轨上奔驰了。所有的一切都在嘎嘎作响地摇晃着，还不错，但当丹麦火车“全速前进”的时候，你肯定能发现。
The other cute detail I experienced one day, was an announcement over the speakers on the train:
“For safety reasons, we are currently driving with reduced speed. We apologize for any delays on your continued travel.”
A quick glance at the cabin info-system told me that we actually did run on reduced speed. 275km/h (170mph) !
Samit Basu, former Unemployed
Chinese don’t have high speed trains of their own.
What they have is a Frankentrain called CRH380A that combines body shell of Japanese Shinkansen E2 with Siemens Velaro power bogie.
The fastest train of China’s own design runs at 250 km/hr