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  #1  
Old May 26th, 2009, 08:56 PM
j2ink j2ink is offline
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Default Tianjin (Xingang Port) to Beijing Train

There are many websites that have information about the high speed trains from Tianjin to Beijing, which began last year just before the Olympics. However, most of the information on the websites was written before the games actually began, and it seems fragmented and may be outdated.

Can anyone describe exactly how to get from a ship in the port of Xingang to Beijing and how long it requires, including the taxi rides? I will be traveling on Saturday about mid-morning.

These are the questions that come to mind.
  • From what I read, it appears that some of the trains actually go all the way to Tanggu, which is closer to the port than Tianjin.
  • How far/how long is it from the port to Tanggu and/or Tianjin and what is the estimated cost of a taxi?
  • It appears that the first-class tickets are ¥69 for adults, one way. Is a reservation required? What is the cost for a child's ticket?
  • How far/how long is it from the South Beijing station to the central city and how much would a taxi cost?
Finally, I need to take my luggage from the ship into Beijing. Is this practical on the train, or is it really crowded without much room for luggage?

Joe
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  #2  
Old May 27th, 2009, 10:54 AM
greatam greatam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j2ink View Post
There are many websites that have information about the high speed trains from Tianjin to Beijing, which began last year just before the Olympics. However, most of the information on the websites was written before the games actually began, and it seems fragmented and may be outdated.

Can anyone describe exactly how to get from a ship in the port of Xingang to Beijing and how long it requires, including the taxi rides? I will be traveling on Saturday about mid-morning.

These are the questions that come to mind.
  • From what I read, it appears that some of the trains actually go all the way to Tanggu, which is closer to the port than Tianjin.
  • How far/how long is it from the port to Tanggu and/or Tianjin and what is the estimated cost of a taxi?
  • It appears that the first-class tickets are ¥69 for adults, one way. Is a reservation required? What is the cost for a child's ticket?
  • How far/how long is it from the South Beijing station to the central city and how much would a taxi cost?
Finally, I need to take my luggage from the ship into Beijing. Is this practical on the train, or is it really crowded without much room for luggage?

Joe
I have never been on the particular train you are asking about but have been on other Chinese trains (I am in China for business a couple times a year). I wouldn't even think about trying to take anything more than a small suitcase. VERY crowded and people are getting on while you are trying to get off. Don't know how you would manage more than a rolling carry on in the chaos. Chinese trains are DEFINITELY NOT European trains.

Find a shuttle or find a couple people on your roll call to share transport with. I think you will be far happier.
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  #3  
Old May 27th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Bohemian Bohemian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatam View Post
Chinese trains are DEFINITELY NOT European trains.
Actually, this one is. It was built in Germany and it's just as clean, smooth, fast and efficient as its European counterparts. Exactly the same trains are also used in Spain, Austria and other EU countries. But hey, if you prefer bouncing around in an overcrowded bus or van for two hours, that's your choice.

To the OP:
We took the train in the opposite direction and the whole trip from Beijing South to Tanggu took about 35 minutes. You need to make reservations and the price is about 70 Yuan. We just bought the tickets the night before our trip at one of the other Beijing train stations. There are no people standing on the train so crowding is not an issue. There is plenty of space at each end of every coach for large suitcases and overhead space for smaller bags. Everybody gets a free bottle of water and there are workers walking up and down the train throughout the trip picking up trash, like empty bottles. We've reached speeds of over 330 km/h. I'd recommend this trip to anybody.

Here are some pics from the trip. Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:14 PM
Lightpackers Lightpackers is offline
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Bohemian,

Many thanks for your detailed information regarding the bullet train from Beijing, including the photographs. We have a couple of relatively minor questions that we hope you can answer for us.

Are there steps to and from the train from the platform. It appears from yoru photograph that this is not the case, which is terrific, since we will have heavy luggage for the cruise.

Should we assume that once we leave Beijing, there are no stops before our destination?

Also, once we arrive at the other end from Beijing, can we just take a taxi to the ship?

Many thanks for any help you can give us.
Helen and Bruce
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  #5  
Old June 3rd, 2009, 01:35 AM
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Cruising Retired Army SGM Cruising Retired Army SGM is offline
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I was on the Diamond Princess 10/22/08, Bangkok to Beijing. I also did a lot of research on taking the train from the port to Beijing but at the last minute I was able to join another group and we took a bus. I did find another link which gives the time table for the train and has a few more pictures. The link is http://cnreviews.com/life/travel-tou..._20080806.html.
I also remember when we got off the Diamond Princess at the port there were people asking about a taxi to the train station and I heard some very high figures mentioned and I want to say they wanted $50 for the taxi.
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  #6  
Old June 3rd, 2009, 10:46 AM
greatam greatam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
Actually, this one is. It was built in Germany and it's just as clean, smooth, fast and efficient as its European counterparts. Exactly the same trains are also used in Spain, Austria and other EU countries. But hey, if you prefer bouncing around in an overcrowded bus or van for two hours, that's your choice.
I certainly did not mean the train was built in Europe.

To each his own and you had a good trip. BUT as a general rule, I sure would NOT take a Chinese train if you have luggage more than a roller carry on. Getting on and off trains in China with more than a small suitcase can be problematic, to say the least. The idea of getting on a train in an ORDERLY fashion is totally foreign in MOST of Asia. And waiting for departing passengers is REALLY a foreign concept in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Your choice, but don't complain if you get bumped around A LOT trying to get yourself and luggage on a Chinese train.
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  #7  
Old June 6th, 2009, 09:08 PM
xiaokong xiaokong is offline
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Xingang Port is about 15miles from Tanggu.So you should take a taxi from the port to Railway Station.It does have stairs you have to walk.
here is the time table for the Bullet train leave to Beijing:
C2272 DEPARTURE 08:29
C2274 DEPARTURE 12:14
C2276 DEPARTURE 13:44
C2278 DEPARTURE 17:04
C2280 DEPARTURE 19:59
other way,you can join your cruise tour from the ship to Beijing,you can also contact with this guide,kung316@yahoo.com.An English Speaking driver and a tour OP.he can make an arranments for you with reasonable price.
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  #8  
Old June 6th, 2009, 09:51 PM
Lightpackers Lightpackers is offline
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Please NO guide postings Thanks !!
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  #9  
Old June 8th, 2009, 01:49 AM
j2ink j2ink is offline
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Bohemian,

Thanks for the information. I don't want to beat this into the ground, but I'm still a little skeptical. I was wondering about how long and how much the taxi ride is on each end.
With the time and cost of two short taxi rides and the train tickets, I'm wondering how much time and money I actually would save taking the train into Beijing. (There are two adults and one 10 year old child.) Including waiting for the train, the over-all travel time seems like it would be 1.5 to 2 hours, and a taxi would be about two to 2.5 hours. I wonder how much I would need to pay for a taxi or van ride into central Beijing on a Saturday morning? I know the services on the internet are quoting at least US$160 and much higher for three people, but I assume a taxi is much cheaper - perhaps far less than US$80.

So it's legitimate on this board, I'll ask the question--Does anyone have any recommendations for private individual/companies they've used for transportation from the harbor into central Beijing?

We will have three large suitcases (50 pounds each) and one small one plus three carry-on bags. We can roll these through airports and along the streets without much trouble, but I am worried about getting them on and off the train in a short period of time. I am also worried about the possibility of steps at the train stations. That much luggage is not easy to carry on the steps or escalators. One person said there were steps at either the Tanggu or Tianjin station. Is that true?


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  #10  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:22 AM
2lindag 2lindag is offline
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Hi Bohemian,

Thanks for the bullet train info. We want to do the trip from Xingang to Beijing and back in the same day. Can you tell us how you got between the train station in Tanggu and the cruise ship dock (how far, bus/taxi, how much $$)? Also, it looks like the train stops in Beijing South station...what transportation would you recommend to reach the Forbidden City area?

Thanks,

Linda in Seattle
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  #11  
Old June 24th, 2009, 10:01 AM
greatam greatam is offline
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For those questioning my statements that Chinese trains are VERY crowded and usually VERY disorganized, Miss Jolly, a poster who just returned from a cruise from Asia to Alaska made this statement in another post "After the very crowded train journey". This in reference to a train trip in Shanghai to get to the Maglev train. They were on a fun trip specifically to ride the Maglev train in Shanghai and had NO luggage.

I have spent a lot of time in China for business. I have taken quite a few trains in and around China, including the absolutely horrible journey from Nanning to Hanoi, Vietnam (overnight sleeper train so filled with people they were sleeping in the aisles outside my compartment).

Take the train if you wish from the port to Beijing. Would be fine for some of the cruises that spend the night in Tianjin, so you could go to the Great Wall and other things in and around Beijing WITHOUT luggage. But I think you are making a real mistake trying to manhandle more than a carry on through a Chinese train station. With cruise luggage, for your safety and sanity, find another way.

Here is the thread about the Maglev train.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1000569
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  #12  
Old June 25th, 2009, 04:00 PM
2lindag 2lindag is offline
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Hi Joe,

After much reading my understanding is that there are only a few trains each day from Tanggu to Beijing and that they are in the afternoon. To get more choices (like morning trains) I think you need to get to Tianjin Railway Station. Tickets can be bought same day and seats are reserved. Photos of the trains look like first-class airplane seats with plenty of leg room. The high-speed trains are very different from the standard Chinese trains...having been on a standard train for a 22 hour trip I would be hesitant to get a lot of luggage and several people on board comfortably. The high-speed train looks pretty easy. I'm not sure the trip will be a lot faster than taking a private car directly from the port by the time you take a taxi to the station and wait for the train and then taxi from Beijing South in to the city center. But on the other hand if you hit traffic the train will probably be faster. For us, the time isn't as important as the experience.
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  #13  
Old July 6th, 2009, 06:01 PM
flailin flailin is offline
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Default train 'n taxi

Well I'm in the same boat (so to speak), getting from Beijing to Xingang's passenger terminal and back. I'm definitely going by bullet train, just because of that old need for speed. I'll have to just see how hard it is to deal with luggage on the train and at the station (I'll be a nice person and pack hard objects on the inside).
But joking aside, please those who know about this route, I'm wondering is it easy and pretty quick to transfer to/from Tanggu at the Tianjin Station? (I assume you want to stay with the train between Tianjin and Tanggu.) And, is taxi the best (or only?) option between the train station at Tanggu and the port at Xingang? Is there a bus, and is it quick enough?
Finally, what is a good estimate of total time elapsed from the time you leave Beijing South Station and arrive at the passenger terminal at Xingang?

Oh, one more question: Are taxi ripoffs really something to watch for? Can't you just make them use the meter, or agree a (lower) price, or try a different cab? I was told it was about 75 RMB between PEK airport and the city (and that's 45 minutes!). I can see the possibility of them trying to rip off a western cruise ship passenger from port to Tanggu, but don't lots of locals ply that route too? Last resort, there must be buses between Tanggu station and Xingang, right?
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  #14  
Old July 9th, 2009, 05:47 PM
puddytat puddytat is offline
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The taxi ride from Xingang and Tangu train station should be no more than 50 Chinese Yuan, which is 7-8 USD. So negotiate with taxi drivers for under 10 USD. In China, conventionally you don't tip service other than porters.
The 50 USD some of you heard is one of the following:
1. really ripoff
2. Talking about Xingang to TianJin Station, which is a lot further but 50 is still high
3. They meant 50 Chinese Yuan.
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  #15  
Old July 14th, 2009, 03:43 PM
j2ink j2ink is offline
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I just returned from Beijing, and we took the bullet train from Tianjin Railway Station to the Beijing South Station. Although the Tanggu Station is much closer to the harbor, there are far fewer trains, and we would have had a three hour wait until the next train.

There were taxis waiting at the harbor, but they seemed pretty hard-core negotiators. Originally they wanted 300 RMB for the ride to Tianjin, but we finally got them to agree to 200. That's probably still too much. However, as it turned out, it was about a one hour ride to Tianjin Railway Station. Much longer than I expected. One other issue is that we were taken to the Tanggu station and handed off to another taxi. Not that big of a deal, but slightly irritating. Needless to say, neither one of the taxi drivers could speak English.

When we arrived at the very large Tianjin Station on Saturday afternoon, it was really crowded, and it was not apparent which long line to get into to buy tickets for the bullet train. There are no signs in English, but since I knew I needed a "C" train I got into one of those ticket lines, which were not quite so long.

The person selling the tickets could not speak English, but I managed to tell her what I needed. Unfortunately, first class was sold out, and I couldn't understand what she was saying, but fortunately, the next person in line spoke a little English, and I was able to buy second class tickets for the next train.

After some exploration, we finally figured out how to get to the trains, since there were no signs in English. We needed to go back outside the station, and down one or two escalators. Although we were wheeling quite a bit of luggage, it wasn’t difficult to get it down the escalators and into the train. However the tickets had no information in English, and we didn’t even know if we had reserved seats. As it turned out, we were went into the wrong car, and needed to change.

It was no problem getting on and off the cars with the luggage, and each car has a large space in the back to stack it. The bullet train system is only about one year old, and even the second class cars are extremely clean and nice, and the boarding process was very orderly and not rushed. However, the cars were full, and we had no idea where to sit. Fortunately, a student took pity on us, and showed us our seats, which were being occupied by other people. He told them to move, and we finally settled in for the ride. Another minor irritation was that our seats were not together, because the train was nearly sold out. But we had a short ride.

Once we got underway, the ride was very enjoyable. This bullet train is about the newest and fastest train system in the world, and it is much more impressive than the bullet train we rode in Japan. We reached a speed of 330 km per hour, which is 205 mph, and we arrived in the Beijing South Station in only 30 minutes.

From there we took a taxi to our hotel. The driver used the meter, so there was not a problem with cost, but it was somewhat of a problem to fit all our luggage into one car. The driver wanted us to use two taxis, but we finally put some of it inside on the seats, and proceeded to the hotel.

Overall, the trip took us nearly three hours, so we didn’t save much time, but it was far cheaper than the cost of the private transportation that I saw on the internet. If we had it to do again, the trip would be much less stressful, because we would know what we were doing, and taking the train from Tanggu probably would have been much faster. Also, if we knew that seats were reserved on the train, we would have tried to find a train employee to ask for help in finding the correct car and seats. As far as wheeling our luggage through the stations and getting it on and off the trains, and storing it in the cars, there were no problems whatsoever.

I would suggest that everyone traveling anywhere in China on their own should have all of their destinations written in Chinese characters on a piece of paper, because almost no one speaks English, nor can they read Chinese names written in English.
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