Shanghai to Beijing by high speed train

Continuing my recent theme of travels across mainland China, today we’re retracing my journey from Shanghai to Beijing by high speed train.

China Railways CRH380B high speed trains stabled outside Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

Getting to the station

I made my way from my hotel across Shanghai by metro.

Line 2 train arrives into Songhong Road station

Arriving at Hongqiao Railway Station.

Shanghai Metro concourse at Hongqiao Railway Station

I rode the escalator up a level.

Access to the Shanghi Metro platform level at Hongqiao Railway Station

And another.

Escalators link the basement transit connections to the waiting room on the top floor

Until I could finally see the sky again.

Glass roof above the main waiting room

Now – which ticket office do I need to go to?

Diagram of the three levels of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

Luckily I had already organised my ticket ahead of time, so just had to pick it up.

Crowds pack the ticket machines and booking office windows

Then head off to the waiting room.

Glass roof above the main waiting room

Which was massive.

Looking across the main waiting room

You need to pass through a security checkpoint on the way in.

Metal detectors and x-ray machines deployed to check all incoming rail passengers

And put your luggage through an x-ray machine.

Metal detectors and x-ray machines deployed to check all incoming rail passengers

But once inside, there are seats everywhere.

Green 'priority' seats are closer to the boarding gates

Boarding gates along the walls.

Ticket gates stand at the escalators leading down to the platform

And stalls selling snacks.

All kinds of snackfoods for sale from a mobile cart

Finally time to board.

Ticket checker at the boarding gate

Everyone lines up to have their tickets checked.

Hoards of passengers push and shove to pass through the ticket gates

Then down an escalator to platform level.

Fellow passengers board the train at Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

Time for a quick photo before departure.

Photographing the rear end of the CRH380B high speed train

And at 11am on the dot, away we go.

Departing Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

Departing Shanghai

Shanghai Hongqiao Station has 30 tracks, serving trains across multiple high-speed rail routes, including the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway my train was using.

I was sitting in first class.

First class sitting area of a China Railway CRH380B high-speed train

A copy of the ‘People’s Railway Daily’ newspaper in my seatback.

Copy of the 'People's Railway Daily' newspaper

After leaving the station, we paralleled a CRH2 high-speed train out of Shanghai.

Paralleling a CRH2 high speed train outside Shanghai Hongqiao

And passed through an array of flyovers leading back towards the platforms.

An array of flyovers lead to the platforms at Shanghai Hongqiao

Down below, the Hongqiao EMU Depot.

China Railways CRH380B high speed trains stabled outside Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

With sidings that went on for seemingly forever.

China Railways high speed trains stabled outside Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

Maintenance facility for the hundreds of high-speed trains based in Shanghai.

Maintenance depot for high speed trains outside Shanghai Hongqiao railway station

And into the countryside

The outskirts of Shanghai were covered with tiled roofs.

Field of tiled roofs on the outskirts of Shanghai

Our train soon hit it’s top speed of 301 km/h.

Hitting 301 km/h between Shanghai and Beijing

We soon passed the shores of Yangcheng Lake.

Fishermen on Yangcheng Lake

Located 60 kilometres out of Shanghai.

Apartments being built beside Yangcheng Lake

Apartment blocks beside European-style houses.

European-style houses beside Yangcheng Lake

Our train passed over many freeways.

120 km/h speed limit on this Chinese highway

Fields and village houses.

Fields and village houses

Power lines.

Transmission lines and lakes

And even a ferris wheel atop a shopping centre!

Ferris wheel atop a shopping centre in Changzhou

First stop – Nanjing South

For much of the journey, we were speeding through minor stations at 300 km/h.

Speeding through Suzhou North railway station at 300 km/h

Until we approached the junction station of Nanjing South.

Flyovers leading into Nanjing South railway station

We passed over roads leading to nowhere.

Roads to nowhere around Nanjing South railway station

As the number of tracks multiplied.

Tracks lead into Nanjing South railway station

Until we arrived into the platform.

CRH2 high speed train stopped at Nanjing South railway station

Then after a quick stop, we were off again.

Into the mountains

As we continued north towards Beijing, we passed the shadows of Mount Tai.

Apartment blocks at Tai'an, in the shadows of Mount Tai

Power lines.

Transmission lines on the slopes of Mount Tai

Running parallel to the ‘old’ Beijing-Shanghai railway.

Mix of bridges on the 'old' Shanghai-Beijing railway past Mount Tai

Overtaking slower locomotive hauled passenger trains.

Overtaking a HXD3C class hauled passenger train on the 'old' Shanghai-Beijing railway

And even slower freight services.

Overtaking a HXD3 class hauled freight on the 'old' Shanghai-Beijing mainline between Tai'an and Jinan

Second stop – Jinan West

We came back into urban life on the outskirts of Jinan.

Light industry and apartments side by side on the outskirts of the city of Jinan

Greeted by railway viaducts.

Viaducts carry high-speed railway tracks into Jinan West station

And a traction power substation.

Railway traction power substation outside Jinan West station

Before we arrived at Jinan West station.

China Railways CRH2 high speed train arrives at Jinan West station

We were timetabled there for a few minutes, I stepped out for a quick photo.

Tail end of our train during the station stop at Passengers waiting on the platform at Jinan West station

As did the smokers for a cigarette break.

Smokers take a quick cigarette break during a short stop at Jinan West station

Then away we went, passing another railway junction.

Pair of high-speed railway tracks curve away from the mainline towards a train depot in Jinan

And over the Yellow River.

Transmission lines cross the Yellow River outside Jinan in Hebei province

Into Hebei province

Fields and apartment blocks greeted me to Cangzhou.

Burning off outside the city of Cangzhou in Hebei province

And a massive coal fired power station.

Coal fired power station outside the city of Cangzhou, Hebei province

We flew over a ‘normal’ speed railway.

Passing over the top of a 'normal' speed railway

And a freeway.

Only a few trucks on this six lane freeway

Another freeway.

Looking down on an almost empty freeway

A third one.

Six lanes of freeway and hardly any traffic

And a fourth.

Road traffic on the outskirts of Beijing

A “confinement farm” for dairy cows.

Dairy cows cooped up at a Chinese farm

Chinese-style ‘passive solar’ greenhouses.

More brick-walled greenhouses under construction

And new apartment developments creeping across the countryside.

Apartment developments creep across the Chinese countryside

Third stop – Tianjin West

New apartment blocked towered over the traditional houses of Tianjin.

New apartments tower over traditional houses outside Tianjin

Tower cranes everywhere.

And still more construction to be seen

We sped past the offices of German engineering firm Siemens.

Siemens office in the Chinese city of Tianjin

And a sea of blue roofed industrial buildings.

Blue roofed buildings are incredibly common in China

And another coal fired power station.

Power station outside Tianjin

Then a quick station stop – and off again.

And finally into Beijing

Our high-speed train was now running parallel with the ‘conventional’ railway.

China Railways tank wagons on a freight train

Our train speeding past loaded freight trains.

China Railways box van on a freight train

And shunting yards.

Looking down on freight train on the parallel railway line

We passed People’s Liberation Army equipment located onto a military train.

People's Liberation Army 8X8 wheeled self-propelled gun loaded on a military train

And slower local passenger trains.

Overtaking a red 'K' train on the 'old' railway alongside

Chimneys welcoming us to the outskirts of Beijing.

Power station chimney towers over on the outskirts of Beijing

Along with telecommunication towers.

Telecommunication tower in the southern districts of Beijing

Traffic on the roads.

More traffic on the roads as we approach Beijing

And an Ikea store.

Ikea store in the south of Beijing

Finally, more tracks joined our route.

Looking down on more railway tracks outside Beijing

And we finally arrived into Beijing South railway station at 3:55pm – 4 hours 55 minutes after we left Shanghai.

CRH380B high-speed train awaiting departure from Beijing South railway station

The end

Time to say goodbye to our train.

Boarding a CRH train just on sunset at Beijing South

A train driver salutes his departing colleague.

Train driver salutes his approaching colleague

As the train sets off into the sunset.

CRH train heads off into the sunset at Beijing South railway station

As I end the day the same way I started – a subway ride to my hotel.

Arrivals concourse at Beijing South railway station

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2 Responses to Shanghai to Beijing by high speed train

  1. Rick W says:

    Nice to see a trip report has finally arrived.

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