New Shanghai-Nanjing High Speed Railway Cuts Travel Time

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Joyce Roque

Jul. 5 – The new high speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing, which began operations on Jul. 1, has cut travel time between cities from at least three hours to about one hour and 40 minutes with prices 56 percent higher than regular trains.

Ticket prices begin at RMB146 for a one way second-class seat and RMB233 for a one way first-class seat. The difference in comfort between the two is not huge. The second-class seats have five people per row or 100 people per carriage as opposed to first class with only 80 people per carriage.

The second-class seat is comfortable enough for a nap with ample leg space and reclining seats for even the tall expatriate. There is a retractable desk behind every seat that is the right size for reading or writing in addition to a spacious overhead storage shelf.

First class seats are wider and plusher. Toilet facilities for both classes  include a squat and a Western-style toilet and two sinks. There is a dining cart that sells bottled drinks and snacks. The cabin attendants wear blue and white checkered tops with knee length denim skirts.

The Shanghai to Nanjing route made quick stops at South Kunshan, Wuxi, Danyang and Zhenjiang while the Nanjing to Shanghai route passed by Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou and South Kunshan.

The speed train begins its route at the newly opened Hongqiao Railway Station accessible via Metro Line 2 and soon Metro Line 10. From People’s Square stop on Metro Line 2, it took about 35 minutes to reach the Hongqiao Railway Station stop.

The stop is larger than regular subway platforms in the city, gleaming new and still slightly smelling of paint and cement. Allot enough time for the 5-10 minute walk it takes from the  subway stop to the railway station across the arrival area to the long escalator to the second floor departure area.  You will also need to time to line up, go through security and look for your departure gate. It helps that there are railway service officers posted around the area to help travelers find their way around.

The Hongqiao Railway Station is massive with four levels. From the subway line, you enter the railway station’s basement level where the ticket vending machines, rail and subway ticket counters are located.

Local and foreign restaurants and cafes are also slated to open there. So far, only one store is open for business, a Chinese bookstore called Relay. The first floor is the street level entrance for cars and taxi, while the second floor is the departures area.

There is a third floor that overlooks the entire second floor area with one newly opened Chinese restaurant at the left wing.

A number of the escalators and elevators are still not operational and there is the occasional sound of drills and hammering and  sight of construction workers.

It is easy to buy a railway ticket with the many ticket vending machines around the basement area with both English and Chinese language options. You can pay using your bank card or cash.

The Hongqiao Railway Stations serves routes to the following destinations: Shanghai West Railway Station, North Nanxiang, North Anting, Huaoqiao, South Kunshan, Yangcheng Hu, Suzhou Industrial District, Suzhou, Suzhou New District, Wuxi New District, Wuxi, Huishan, Qishuyan, Changzhou, Danyang, Dantu, Zhenjiang, Baohuashan, Xianlin and Nanjing.

12 thoughts on “New Shanghai-Nanjing High Speed Railway Cuts Travel Time

    Gerhard Kohler says:

    A long way to go…… I traveled from Shanghai to Nanjing Monday July 5. departing at 8:51 expecting to be in Nanjing 75 minutes later. After the journey with 7 stops we reached Nanjing 119 minutes later. 10:50

    I am confused as I would expect to be faster than with the normal train ( D ) but it is nearly the same.

    I will take the normal train next time.

    Editor says:

    Dear Gerhard,

    There are several different options for trains from Shanghai to Nanjing, the fastest being the direct service with no stops between Shanghai and Nanjing. The train that the writer rode had four stops, while your train stopped seven times, significantly adding to travel time.


    Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    Being the same error the South China Morning Post reported when they suggested the time was the same. Timetables are published with good reason.

    astoven says:

    I read this new railway station will soon be accessible visa line 10 : When is the exact date planified?

    today it takes more than 1 hour for my husband to make the journey Xujahui => Hongqiao railway station…
    knowing that only 1 line 2 train on 3 goes until there.
    It was easier to go to Suzhou before from Shanghai north station.

    Dear astoven,
    Authorities have not announced an exact date and only say that Hongqiao Railway Station via Line 10 will open later this year.


    William Kimaru says:

    Will be traveling to Nanjing through Shanghai later in September,what is the price range for one way tickets?

    HerrBert says:

    I used to travel by train in China quite often and personally I enjoy the better and cheaper connections, especially as they are still cheap compared to trains in europe.

    Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    Price of tickets, reservations and so on: and

    kclaj says:

    I am traveling to China during Feb, 2012, is it easy to get ticket for Shanghai-Nanjing High Speed train on the same day of traveling?
    Is there a way to reserve a round trip ticket on the web in advance before I travel to China?


    li yu yao says:

    If I travel from Shanghai to Nanjing carrying a golf bag & hand luggage ,is therea place where I can put my golf bag without obstruction to other passengers.

    Thank you

    michel says:

    i am traveling on july 27 2013 from shanghai to nanjing south what favorable time and train i should have to ride? and what bay station. first time to travel shanghai to nanjing using train.

    hopefully your immediate reply.

    Thank you


    Thanks for your comment. You can find a full schedule of the trains leaving Shanghai for Nanjing here:

    Trains are leaving every 5-10 minutes so you should have no problem just heading to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Station, then purchasing a ticket and jumping on a train when you get there.

    Enjoy your trip! Nanjing is a beautiful city.

Comments are closed.