From the scenic Woolong National Natural Reserve to the grand Three-Star Piles Museum, the bucolic Jiuzhaigou, and mesmerizing Divine Light Temple—Chengdu in Sichuan is truly a noteworthy to visit when you’re in Sichuan Province. Adding to its popularity and charm is its extensive transport system, especially the famous Chengdu Railway Transport.
Chengdu is also connected to a nearby city called Dujiangyan, which was opened only a few years ago. Unlike the other train options within the area, this one looks more modern because it’s already dual track and high speed. The main engines now run with the use of electricity instead of coal. This also makes the train speedy as it can reach its destination, covering more than 10 stopovers, in less than an hour. It has a total length of over 60 kilometers. Best of all, even if the train passes through plenty of viaducts, tunnels, and bridges, it’s completely safe since it’s been designed to survive even in very strong earthquakes.
Aside from Dujiangyan, there’s also a direct train line from Chengdu all the way to Chongqing, also known as Yu. Hence the train station is fondly called Chengyu Railway. Compared to the Chengdu-Dujiangyan Railway, the Chengyu Railway only has a single track, but it’s still powered by electricity. It also covers a farther distance, almost 9 times that of Chengdu-Dujiangyan. Moreover, it is a lot older and more significant historically since it was one of the very first railways constructed after the new republic was established sometime in the early 1950s. The line covers other large cities such as Yongchuan, Jianyang, and Neijiang.
Chengdu Railway Station
Within the city itself, there are actually three known railway stations: north, south, and east. The most popular of them all is the North Railway Station, which is also called the Chengdu Railway Station. It is located in Jinnui District. This should not be confused with another station of the same name; it ferries freight, not passengers. Its importance may stem from the fact it travels to provinces and cities such as the rest of Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai, Hainan through Haikou, Yunnan, and Inner Mongolia via Hohhot.
The massive terminal is composed of over 30 ticket windows, though they are not open all together simultaneously unless it’s absolutely necessary such as during the Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, to make sure you can board the train at your preferred time, buy early; they are open 24/7. The railway station can be reached by riding several buses, like 2, 83, 802, 409, and 36. You may also take a taxi, which will cost you about CNY100 if you came from the airport. From the Metro Station, take line 1.
Chengdu South Railway
The Chengdu South Railway Station is more than 30 years old, having been built and operational since the 1960s. It covers only a very short distance, less than 25 kilometers, and directly connects passengers to Kunming City. However, because of its age, it’s currently being upgraded by the government. In the meantime, the lines and routes are transferred to North Railway Station, which further explains the increase in foot traffic there.
Chengdu East Railway
This railway station is located in Anninghe Road, Chenghua. It shares almost the same destinations as the North Railway Station, such as Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai. If you want to go to Dazhou or Nanning, you take the train here. Built in 2011, it’s one of the newest and thus modern hubs in the region. It is composed of multiple platforms and halls, as well as contemporary Chinese decors. Aside from ticket windows, there are already vending machines for self-service purchases. Taxi fare from the airport toward the station is cheaper at CNY80.
Another new railway station, Chengdu West, is in progress. It shall open in the later months of 2014.
There are good highways connecting the region with other part of China. There ia a total of 1,760 kms of expressways. Sichuan-Tibet highway is one of the two passages into Tibet and is frequently used by travelers.
Most towns in Sichuan are accessible by bus. However, as some roads are through mountainous regions with many winding roads and some roads which still being brought up to date, it is advisable to check travel times with the bus stations beforehand.
Sochuan has 1,400 rivers of which 345 rivers have an catchment of more than 500 km, and 22 rivers have a catchment greater than 1,000 km2. Only two rivers flow into the Yellow River, they are the White River and the Black River in the northwest, and all the other rivers flow into the Yangtze River system. The main rivers include the Jinshajiang (the upper reach of the Yangtze), the Minjiang, the Jialingjiang, the Tuojiang and the Fujiang. They are all more than 500 kilometers long.
Sichuan Province has a very well developed and sophisticated water transport system. The Yangtze River flowing through the province is the main transport line. The Yangtze together with its branches constitute a natural water transport network. All year round, steamboats can travel in the downstream section of the Yangtze from Xinshi Town, as well as the Minjiang River from Leshan City, and in the downstream section of the Jialingjiang River from Langzhong City. Leshan, Yibing, and Luzhou Cities are important river ports in the province. It may be a little slower by boat but extremely worthwhile as you can admire the beauty of the landscape from as you travel and absorb the true spirit of Sichuan.