train tickets

Old May 3, 10, 7:01 pm
  #1  
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train tickets

I'm going city hopping in a few weeks and need to buy some train tickets. I usually ask my hotel to book train tickets for me but I am not sure where I am staying yet.

Is it possible to buy a return Shanghai to Wuxi train ticket while in Chengdu besides going through the ticket brokers on the internet?

For the D express trains in soft sleeper, do these normally sell out? Could I just show up at Shanghai station and buy the tickets on the same day?

thanks
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Old May 3, 10, 9:15 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by mileagerunner View Post
I'm going city hopping in a few weeks and need to buy some train tickets. I usually ask my hotel to book train tickets for me but I am not sure where I am staying yet.

Is it possible to buy a return Shanghai to Wuxi train ticket while in Chengdu besides going through the ticket brokers on the internet?

For the D express trains in soft sleeper, do these normally sell out? Could I just show up at Shanghai station and buy the tickets on the same day?

thanks
I suggest you visit a kiosk or ask your hotel to book for you the day before. You can also buy at the train station, but might end up having to wait a while (I'm not too fond of Chinese train stations, for the most part). Also, I don't think any of the Shanghai-Wuxi D trains offer sleepers of any kind (it's only a 40 minute run).
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Old May 3, 10, 9:45 pm
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You don't need a sleeper to get from Shanghai to Wuxi. I don't think you need to worry about booking in advance on this route, as long as you have a little flexibility and can do next-available. HERE is a website where you can enter those cities and come up with list of trains on this route. It's pretty up-to-date and accurate. You can take pretty much any of these trains, but if it were me I'd probably do the D's since they leave from Shanghai main station (which I presume will be more convenient for you than Shanghai South) and they originate in Shanghai. Note that trains which have a different city from Wuxi as final destination, still have Wuxi as an intermediate stop. You can click on exact train to see detailed timetable with all stops.

I'd wait to get these tickets in Shanghai, or if you don't have much flexibility, call from Chengdu to Shanghai hotel (if you know where you'll be staying by then), and have hotel get--give them 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices.
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Old May 3, 10, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
I don't think you need to worry about booking in advance on this route, as long as you have a little flexibility and can do next-available.
As many of you know, I'm not into advance planning. But, in the case of trains between SH and NJ, HZ, Suzhou/Wuxi, I always like to buy tickets the day before because trains sell out (it's not too hard to get tickets at the station, but Murphy's Law dictates that the most convenient train(s) will not be available).
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Old May 4, 10, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I suggest you visit a kiosk or ask your hotel to book for you the day before. You can also buy at the train station, but might end up having to wait a while (I'm not too fond of Chinese train stations, for the most part). Also, I don't think any of the Shanghai-Wuxi D trains offer sleepers of any kind (it's only a 40 minute run).
At least one Shanghai-Wuxi D train does offer sleeper. Train D302 departs at 21:20 from Shanghai and arrive in Wuxi at 22:14. One way soft sleeper costs 200.00.
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Old May 5, 10, 6:31 am
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thanks all

actually, I meant to say soft seat (soft sleeper would be overkill on a 60-80 minute trip)

Would my hotel be able to buy a Shanghai-Wuxi train ticket for me or must I buy the Wuxi Shanghai ticket when I get to Wuxi?

Thanks again
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Old May 5, 10, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by mileagerunner View Post
thanks all

actually, I meant to say soft seat (soft sleeper would be overkill on a 60-80 minute trip)

Would my hotel be able to buy a Shanghai-Wuxi train ticket for me or must I buy the Wuxi Shanghai ticket when I get to Wuxi?

Thanks again
While I'll stop short of guaranteeing that your hotel will be able to book the return ticket, this is possible/common.
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Old May 5, 10, 12:30 pm
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As I have been a frequent traveller on this train corridor for several years now, a few comments:

Don't depend on same day purchase. Soft seats are likely to have sold out and even a 3-3 seat in 2nd is not guaranteed. I.e your anticipated 11am (just as an example) departure from Shanghai might turn into 3-4 pm or later due to lack of seats.

Buying black market tickets is possible but scam artists are eagerly waiting for you...

You can buy both ways in Shanghai depending on what day your planned return is.

Ask your hotel to do ticket purchases in advance and pay the difference. Or if you are in Shanghai a day or two before the planned trip then visit a ticket kiosk as moondog mentioned. One easy to find is downstairs at the Maglev city end terminus.
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Old May 16, 10, 3:20 am
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Had to move up my trip.

Ended up going to Shanghai Zhan to buy my Wuxi tickets on the same morning, to save the hassle of buying tickets the night before and paying a service charge.

My first choice was sold out but I got the next available train 15 minutes later. Unlike the first class seat trains, my Dxxxx train to Wuxi was a sleeper train and only sold second class tickets for 39 kuai. I couldn't find my seat initially, so I just found myself an empty compartment which I had to myself for the entire 60 minute journey. It was an early morning departure and I just did some work on the laptop. I was pretty impressed by the quality of the train. There was central AC as well as LCD TVs in the compartment. A big upgrade from when I used to take hard sleepers 20 years ago.

At Shanghai Zhan, a 40 kuai taxi ride from my hotel in Pudong, there are self service ticketing stations which allow you to buy return tickets. Just make sure you bring crisp notes. The queues are hit and miss but moved fairly quickly at 8am in the morning.

The return Dxxxx train took 70 minutes as it stopped in Suzhou and Kunshan. First class seat was 47 kuai and seating is 2-2. I slept the entire way back.

I took the metro back from Shanghai Zhan to Peoples Park on the return and it was the least pleasant of my 20-odd metro rides over two days.
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Old May 17, 10, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by mileagerunner View Post
My first choice was sold out but I got the next available train 15 minutes later. Unlike the first class seat trains, my Dxxxx train to Wuxi was a sleeper train and only sold second class tickets for 39 kuai. I couldn't find my seat initially, so I just found myself an empty compartment which I had to myself for the entire 60 minute journey. It was an early morning departure and I just did some work on the laptop. way back.
Yes, you can get same day tickets for 6-7 am departures in most cases. But after that it gets difficult if not impossible until around noon or early afternoon.

I wouldn't do same morning purchases if you have a schedule as odds really are not that good to get on the train you want.
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