Riding the Rails

11 Sep

A while ago I had another business trip to Beijing.  Because I like to pretend to be an adventurous person I decided to take the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai.  All of my colleagues thought I was crazy after the accidents that occurred on the high speed train at the end of July.  I figured now was likely the safest time – they had slowed the trains down slightly and have everything being checked.

I arrived at the train station too early – I forgot that once you put your bag through, that’s it.  There’s no other checks or anything else.  The waiting hall was enormous (as you can see in the pictures) with row after row of chairs.  The new Hongqiao railway station has only been open a little more than a year and it is still a work in progress.  All of the shops were closed so your only choices for food were vending machines.  I wandered around for a while and took a few shots of the rail network and how it is supposed to expand.

I purchased a middle level ticket since it was still cheaper than a flight and the train was spacious – there was a plug for my computer, plenty of room for my legs and an almost empty car – only four people for the first three hours!  The train was supposed to take about 5 hours and ran right on time.  There was overpriced but tasty food for sale, with a cafe car and many attendants.  The final station was Beijing South Railway Station and after a short cab ride I arrived at my hotel.  I would definitely do it again.

Enjoy the photos!  Any other train stories from you?  Please share.

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5 Responses to “Riding the Rails”

  1. valerie September 12, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Like your haircut! And is that real lion’s head in the meatballs (it being China, I would not be surprised if you said yes)? No interesting train stories here!

    • gkm2011 September 12, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      Nope – not even in China does train fare consist of real lion’s head. Basically they are huge, pork meatballs that are stewed in a brown sauce – because they’re so large, I think, they have taken on the name “lion’s head.” I remember the first time I ate them I was very confused myself.

  2. Crystal September 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Your box dinner looks yummy! Much better than what I’ve had on Amtrak.

    When Anne and I finally take that train ride to Tibet, we’ll have some interesting stories…


  1. 空姐(Stewardess) « 中国 Jumble - October 18, 2011

    […] rules about those things when they first opened the Beijing to Shanghai high speed line (see Riding the Rails for a refresher on the high speed […]

  2. Exploring – Climbing Mt. Tai (泰山) « 中国 Jumble - July 10, 2012

    […] long weekend for a trip to Shandong province to climb Mt. Tai (Tai Shan 泰山) .  The new high speed train turns what was an 11 hour trip from Shanghai 15 years ago into 3.5 hours today – and only 1.5 […]

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