Shanghai City currently has 3 major railway stations; Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station.
It is important that you go to the correct station to catch your train as they are all quite far apart from one another. In particular, it is easy to confuse Shanghai Railway Station with the Shanghai South Railway Station.
Please ensure you communicate correctly with your taxi driver and that the station name is what is printed on your train ticket.
Shanghai Railway Station
The Shanghai Railway Station primarily serves trains traveling to the northern and western parts of China. Furthermore, a lot of trains traveling the populous north-south direction along China’s coastal cities also made intermittent stops here. Most of the long-haul, non-high speed train popular with migrant workers also passed through this station. As such, this train station is the most crowded station in Shanghai and passengers are advised to be there early if they are not familiar with the station’s layout.
The Shanghai Railway Station is served by Shanghai Metro’s Line 1, 3 and 4 of a similar-named metro station called Shanghai Railway Station. In addition, being an established train station, the Shanghai Railway Station is also served by numerous bus lines and taxis.
Passengers alighting at this train station may follow the signboard to an underground taxi stand which has plenty of taxis in waiting at all time. Due to traffic condition, taxis are not allowed to stop outside this train station above ground but only at a designated underground taxi stand. However, there are usually a few illegal taxis waiting for unknowing passengers at ground level who are then misled into paying a higher negotiated fee as they cannot find any other taxis at ground level.
Train tickets may be purchased a few days in advanced at the self-serving ticket kiosks or the conventional ticket counters at the respective railway stations.
Alternatively, trains tickets are also available on sales at designated sales locations throughout Shanghai City. Most large hotels will also help their guests to purchase the required train tickets if communicated in advance.
A category of train tickets known as the Standing Tickets are available for trains in China. Passengers who purchased this relatively cheaper category of tickets are not allocated a seat. Instead they are allowed to stand in between carriages for the duration of the journey. This is common during peak periods when seated train tickets are sold out.
Trains and train stations in China are notoriously crowded during long public holidays when migrant workers and students return to their hometowns. In particular, during the Lunar New Year in January / February period, heavy snowfall might cause further delay in train schedules. It is strongly recommended that you factor in possible delays in your travel plan should you wish to make a trip during these peak periods. Traveling during these peak periods is also a very tiring and energy-sapping experience for elder folks and young children.
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