Train Travelogue – 2017

I tweet on Facebook and Twitter about #ShanghaiKunmingHSR… and I get all of these comments that think the trains are incredible […] When they look at the new stations, such as Kunming South, folks think this is not a train station; it’s an airport! That inspired me to cook up a new word: maybe we should call them “railports”.
CGTN (China Global TV Network) French channel (Jan 2017; Interview completed in French)


  • National or territorial/regional rail networks: China Mainland (Beijing, Bengbu, Ji’nan, Hefei, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Xi’an, Zhengzhou and others)
  • Metro/tram networks: China Mainland (Beijing Subway, Hefei Metro, Tianjin Metro, Zhengzhou Metro and others)
  • National/territorial/regional rail mileage this year: Sorry, still being calculated

2017 got off to a very good start as David boarded Train G123 from Beijing South Railway Station on 01 January 2017, returning to the rails less than 12 hours after the new year had just started.

On 05 January 2017, David was part of the very first direct Beijing-Kunming HSR train service. The trip to Kunming would be very long, but he joined the train as far south as Shijiazhuang, then head west for his first trip to Taiyuan South HSR hub, which truly impressed him.

Trips in the very first month of the year already took him to many more destinations thanks to a vastly expanded network. Following a day trip to Xi’an, these similar day trips would take David to Zhengzhou (where he also tried the rail link to Xinzheng Airport), Hefei, and Bengbu.

He’d continue tweeting about #Chunyun, China’s Spring Festival Peak Travel Season, throughout the entire 40-day period, allowing viewers from across the planet a unique look at what’s seen as the largest human migration.

China’s HSR system expansion has been the focus of a lot of attention; however, the city metro networks across many a Chinese city has been growing with the same amount of dynamism as the national HSR network.

Throughout the year, David gave the networks across China plenty of mileage. All local trips are now covered by city metro — with the percentage of travel by car down.

In 2017, David travelled, for the very first time, on the metro systems in Hefei and Zhengzhou in China, including travelling for the whole extent of the Chengjiao (City-Urban) Line in Zhengzhou, as well as travelling on an expanded Tianjin Metro Line 6.

To be continued…