Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

The Beijing – Tianjin Bullet Train

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The Beijing - Tianjin Bullet TrainRemind me to tell you this awesome train story from Italy some day! It involves 20 teenagers, 20+ American-sized luggages, a closed train bathroom, and a 6 hour train ride. Actually, don’t remind me of that. Never ever remind me of that.

Feel free to remind me of the bullet train I took from Tianjin to Beijing (and back), though! Thirty minutes and about ten dollars later, I had successfully taken this modern feat of Chinese engineering. The names of the train translates to “Harmony” and that’s exactly what I was thinking the entire trip. Travelling 120 kilometers has never been so easy! For all my Minnesota readers, this would be like travelling from St. Cloud to downtown Minneapolis in half an hour! For my Texas readers, this is like going from Garden Valley to Dallas in that same amount of time.

At top speeds of 350 km/h, it’s revolutionized the way middle-class Chinese travel and was very useful during the Olympics last year when most of the soccer events were held in Tianjin. I’ve heard stories of people that live in Tianjin but commute to Beijing every day for work. Maybe I should do that?

The one I took only got up to 329 km/h… I was only slightly disappointed.

Fares
Second class = 58 RMB (be sure that you’re given a seat number, or you’ll be standing)
First class = 69 RMB
Deluxe class = 99 RMB (only 8 seats per trip)

You can easily purchase your ticket at the station the day of your trip; they also take reservations up to 20 days before your trip.

Timetable
From Tianjin: Trains leave every half hour from 6:25 in the morning to 10:45 at night
From Beijing: Trains leave every half hour from 6:35 in the morning to 11:00 at night
(subject to change, obviously)
(and I think it’s closed during the major holiday weeks) (EDIT: Nope, it’s open during the holidays.)

I’d recommend getting to the station about an hour before your intended departure.