As of the end of 2013, there are ten trains departing from Shanghai and Xian respectively. Trains between Shanghai and Xi'an use the Beijing–Shanghai High-speed Railway and the Longhai Railway, passing through thirteen cities, including Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, Nanjing, Chuzhou, Bangbu, Xuzhou, Shangxiu, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, and Sanmenxia. At present there is one pair of D-trains, one Z-train, four pairs of T-trains and four K-trains operating between these two cities.
Most trains running between Shanghai and Xi'an will first use the Beijing–Shanghai Railway and, after arriving in Xuzhou, change to the Longhai Railway. It usually departs from Shanghai Railway Station and arriving at Xi'an Railway Station. The Beijing–Shanghai High-speed Railway connects Beijing and Shanghai, and is designed for a maximum speed of 350 km/h (G-trains) and 250 km/h (D-trains). The Longhai Railway links Lianyungang City (连云港市) and Lanzhou City (兰州市), covering 1,759 km. Long refers to Gansu Province in ancient China, whose capital is Lanzhou, and Hai refers to Haizhou City, which is now called Lianyungang.
D-trains were put into use on December 21, 2012. They use the Beijing–Shanghai High-speed Railway, the Longhai Railway and the Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-speed Railway. A D-train departs from Shanghai Railway Station at 22:00 every evening, and reaches Xi'an North Railway Station at 08:40 the next day. The journey time of a D-train is 3 hours and 40 minutes shorter than the second-fastest Z-trains. As it is a long journey, D-trains are equipped with soft sleepers.
|Type of train and speed||2nd-class seat / Hard Seat||Hard Sleeper (Upper Bunks Middle Bunks Lower Bunks)||Soft Sleeper (Upper/lower Bunks)||Fastest||Daily services|
|D Train(250 km/h)||338 Yuan||/||741 Yuan / 834 Yuan||10 hours and 40 minutes||1|
|Z Train||180.5 Yuan||310.5 Yuan / 321.5 Yuan / 331.5 Yuan||488.5 Yuan / 509.5 Yuan||14 hours and 34 minutes||1|
|T Train||180.5 Yuan||310.5 Yuan / 321.5 Yuan / 331.5 Yuan||488.5 Yuan / 509.5 Yuan||14 Hours and 27 minutes||4|
|K Train||180.5 Yuan||310.5 Yuan / 321.5 Yuan / 331.5 Yuan||488.5 Yuan / 509.5 Yuan||19 hours and 2 minutes||4|
Foreigners can book tickets with passports. You can book a ticket ten days ahead of the departure date. However, though many railway stations offer paperless boarding, this is not available to foreigners at the moment.
The official website,www.12306.cn, is open for booking, but it is in Chinese and also requires a Chinese bank account.
The best way for a foreigner to purchase train tickets is to buy them directly at the booth window at the station or use a reliable travel agent.