China Train Travel Guide

China Train Hard Seat Service Review


Hard seat, or regular seat, is a kind of seating style on China's regular speed trains which include 4-digit number trains, K trains, L trains, T trains, Y trains and Z trains. The high speed bullet trains including C trains, D trains and G trains have second class seats that use similar unsoft cushions.
Hard seat is one of the most popular seat accommodations on China regular trains. Some regular train may not have sleeper coaches while hard seat coaches are available on almost all trains.
Hard seat has the least comfort while the lowest price, it's widely acceptable among ordinary Chinese people.
Back angle for hard seat is not adjustable. It is discomfortable for long time sitting and best time to spend with hard seat is less than 4 hours.

Main Content List:
  1. Service Amenities
  2. Seat Map
  3. Travel Attentions
  4. Hard Seat vs Soft Seat
Service Amenities

On the regular train, hard seat coach is numbered as YZ and commonly used coach classes are YZ25G, YZ25K, YZ25Z, YZ25T, SYZ25B and SYZ25K.
Capacity differs with coach classes. Most coaches have 108 seats each, while some have 128 seats. The two-level coaches even have 174 seats each.
Inside the coach, most seats are arranged in 3+2 configuration while seats at the ends of the coach are arranged in 2+2 configuration.

China Train Hard Seat
Photo HST-1. An interior photo of Hard Seat Coach on T151/T152 Beijing-Xining Train.

Hard seat coach features:

  1. Hard seat coach has big windows with curtains.
  2. Hard seat coach has toilets, handbasin, rubbish bin and boiling water dispense at its head and tail section.
  3. Hard seat coach has roof racks above the seating area to accommodate carry-on luggage.
  4. Hard seat coach has small, shared tables on both sides of the aisle.

Travel Tips and Tourist Attentions

  • Hard seat coach has poor condition. It is always overcrowded and noisy as it is shared with those standing ticket holders. It's recommended to daytime short distance travelers only.
  • Even though it is not well maintained, toilet inside hard seat coach has high usage rate. Please give youself 3-10 minutes's waiting time to use toilet.
  • Passengers inside hard seat coach change frequently, please take special attention on your carry ons and luggage to prevent theft.
  • On board the train, you are allowed to contact the conductor to upgrade seat ticket to sleeper ticket, however, there is no guarantee that your requirement will be satisfied as it depends on actual availability of tickets.

China Train Hard Seat
Photo HST-2. An Overcrowded Hard Seat Coach.

Hard Seat vs Soft Seat

Soft seat is not a commonly used arrangement on China regular trains. In another word, only a few regular trains in China have soft seats. Differences between the hard seat and the soft seat are:

  • Cost:
  • Soft seat is 12% to 15% higher in price than hard seat.
  • Seat Arrangement:
  • Soft seats are arranged in 2+2 configuration while hard seat in 2+3 configuration.
  • Cushion:
  • Soft seat uses sofa cushion while hard seat use stiff cushion.
  • Space:
  • Soft seat coach has more spare space. What's more, passengers with standing tickets are not allowed to enter soft seat coach while the hard seat coach accepts standing ticket holders.
  • Service:
  • Soft seat coach has 2-3 attendants in service while hard seat coach has only 1 attendant.

Dining Car on China Train
A Restaurant Car on China's Regular Train.

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