Chinese Train Seat Classes

Trains in China have the following seat classes:

On high-speed trains (C, D, G trains): the second class seat, first-class seat, superior class seat, business class seat, soft sleeper, new soft sleeper. On regular trains (K, T, Z, and four-digit number trains): hard seat, hard sleeper, soft sleeper, deluxe soft sleeper.

Seat Classes on China High-Speed Trains

Daytime high-speed trains have 4 classes of seat: second class, first-class, superior class, and business class. Overnight D category bullet trains have a soft sleeper class and a new soft sleeper class.

Second Class Seat

The second class is basic and the most affordable seat on high-speed trains, like an economy class on an airplane.

Second Class Seat on China Bullet Trains

There are five seats in a row across the coach width, three (A, B and C seats) on one side of the aisle and two (D and F seats) on the other side. All the seats are facing forward. The seatback can be adjusted per your needs and has a foldable table attached.

A power socket is available at the bottom of each seat. Luggage can be put on the racks above your seat, or in the luggage closet at the connection between two coaches. Toilet and washbasin are available at the end of each coach.

Second Class ticket is the cheapest among all high-speed seat classes, so it is the most popular and most frequently used among travelers.

First Class Seat

On the first-class coach, each row has two seats on either side of the aisle, one less than the second-class carriage. The seatback can also be adjusted to a comfortable angle. A foldable footrest is available at the bottom of each seat and a small pillow is attached at the seatback. There is a small foldable table on the armrest.

First Class Seat on Chinese bullet train

Compared with second-class seats, first-class seats have more space between the two rows. First-class seats are also wider and more comfortable than second-class seats, with about 20% to 40% higher ticket fares.

Superior Class Seat

Superior class seats are set on a few high-speed trains. These are very comfortable with enough space and good facilities. The seats are arranged 1+2 across the coach width. Seat A and seat F are window seats. Seat C is the aisle seat. Each seat is attached a reading lamp, radio and video facilities.

Superior Class Seat on Chinese bullet train

Business Class Seat

Business-class seats are only available on G-category high-speed trains. They are the most luxurious and expensive seats on high-speed trains in China. The business class coaches are usually located in the front or back part of the train and separated from the other coaches by automatic doors to keep it quiet and private.

The business class coaches are spacious and carpeted. Seats on this coach are arranged 1+2 in a row - two on one side (seats A and C) and one (seat F) on the other side of the aisle. Seat A and seat F are window seats. Seat C is the aisle seat. The sofa-like leather seat is can be reclined to a flatbed at the touch of a button, allowing passengers to lie down and have a good rest.

Business Class Seat on China bullet train

Business-class seats are all well-equipped. An affordable table and a mini LED TV are folded in the armrest of each seat. a power socket is available at the bottom of each seat. Blankets and pillows are provided. Some trains also offer free snacks and drinks.

Soft Sleeper

On overnight high-speed trains, there are only soft sleepers, no hard sleepers. Soft sleepers on high-speed trains are quite expensive and sometimes more expensive than discount flights for the same journey. They do, however, guarantee a comfortable overnight journey. See below for "soft sleeper" details.

Soft Sleeper on China bullet train

New Soft Sleeper

Unlike the old-style soft sleeper car, the new sleeper berths are parallel to the hallway. There are 2 rows of double-decker sleeper berths on each side of the hallway. The new sleeper class is more comfortable and provides more privacy.

Also read China High-Speed Rail.

Seat Classes on China Regular Trains

Seat classes on regular trains include the hard seat, hard sleeper, soft sleeper, and deluxe soft sleeper.

Hard Seat

two rows sit face to face with a small table in between. Each row has 5 seats, a three-seat bench, and a two-seat bench on either side of the aisle. The seatback is almost vertical and cannot be adjusted.

Hard Seat on China train

Hard seats are the cheapest and are usually crowded. The coaches are not very clean. It is not recommended to buy a hard seat ticket when there are other options available, especially not during peak season.

Hard Sleeper

A hard sleeper compartment is communal and opens onto the aisle, with three berths (upper/middle/lower) on each side. A pillow, sheet, and blanket are provided for each berth. It is noisy during the day but much better after 9:30 pm or 10 pm when the lights of the car are switched off by train staff.

Hard Sleeper on China train

Soft Sleeper

On overnight high-speed trains, there are only soft sleepers, no hard sleepers. Soft sleepers on high-speed trains are quite expensive and sometimes more expensive than discount flights for the same journey. They do, however, guarantee a comfortable overnight journey. See below for "soft sleeper" details.

Soft Sleeper on China train

Difference between the soft sleeper and hard sleeper

Deluxe Soft Sleeper

In the deluxe soft sleeper, there are two berths (lower + upper) in a private compartment, with a lockable door. A sofa, a wardrobe, back cushions, and slippers are all provided. A western-style toilet and washbasin are available at the end of the carriage. Toilet paper is available, but always bring your own toilet paper in case it runs out.

Also read China Railway Construction, China Railway Network, China Railway Administration.

Need Help?

Request a custom itinerary today and get one step closer to your personalized trip

Create Your Trip