China Train Travel Guide

China Train Soft Sleeper Service Review


Soft sleeper represents the top comfortable sleeping accommodations on China trains. It's available on the normal speed trains as well as on some of high speed bullet D trains. This article features on soft sleepers of the conventional speed trains. We have article on high speed sleeper trains on another web page.

Main Content List:
  1. The Train and the Carriage
  2. Service Amenities
  3. Hard Sleeper vs Soft Sleeper
  4. Travel Attentions

The train and its Soft Sleeper

Soft sleepers are relatively rare on the normal speed trains as most of these 15-20 car trains have only one car for soft sleepers each.
On these regular trains, soft sleeper car is numbered as RW which is located in the central part of the train on one of number 9 to number 13 cars. The soft sleeper car is always close to the restaurant car.
Inside the soft sleeper car are 8-9 cabins and each cabin has two parallel twin bunk beds with a small desk in-between. That is, the soft sleeper car can provide maximum 4*9=36 berths for travelers.
Soft sleeper berth is approximately 700 mm wide and 1900 mm long with headroom of about 700 mm.

China Train Soft Sleeper Carriage
Photo SS-1. An interior photo of soft sleeper cabin. As you can see, the cabin consists of two lower soft sleeper berths and two upper soft sleeper berths providing spacious, private and comfortable travel condition to passengers on board.

Service Amenities

  1. Bedding Sets:
  2. Soft sleeper has soft cushioned mattress. Besides this, it provides sheet, quilt, pillow and other bedroom decorative accessories for passengers to stay with. The lower soft sleeper berth also has back cushion so that passenger has no need to lean against the hard train wall. Four pairs of slippers for men and women are provided also.
  3. Decorative Accessories:
  4. Blind and curtain combinations are available on the window. On the side wall, it provides wall mounted reading lamp, clothes hanger and net bag to store the general utility. Some trains have plastic bottle flowers placed on the small table in-between the two lower soft sleeper berth to create homelike atomsphere for passengers.
  5. Air conditioning system.
  6. Life Facilities:
  7. Inside the soft sleeper cabin, it has electric kettle and trash basket. The soft sleeper car has squat and sitting toilets, double wash basin cabinet on one end and has electric water boiler and train attendant room on the other end.
  8. Luggage:
  9. Soft sleeper compartment has overhead storage bin inside to place your luggage. For convenience, you can also choose to place luggage underneath the lower soft sleeper berth.
  10. Entertainment
  11. Some trains have wall mounted televisions for each berth with headphone socket, volume adjuster and channel changer at the end of the bed.
  12. A row of seats and tables alongside the aisle in 2 seats + 1 table configuration to let travelers relax themselves in sitting position.
  13. Waiting Room:
  14. Many train stations have exclusive waiting rooms for soft sleeper ticket holders providing hot water, newspaper, guidance and boarding priority.
  15. Soft sleeper cabin has the door that can be locked inside so that other people can't enter the room without permission which provides another layer of security for travelers inside.

China Train Lower Soft Sleeper
Photo SS-2. The Lower Soft Sleeper Berth Provides Top Luxury Travel Experience to Different Sized People.

Hard Sleeper vs Soft Sleeper

  1. Cost:
  2. Soft sleeper has higher price than that of hard sleeper.
  3. Demension:
  4. Soft sleeper is more spacious than hard sleeper.
  5. Location:
  6. Soft sleeper car is located in the middle part of the train while hard sleeper cars are usually assigned at the head or tail of the train. Soft sleeper ticket holders can easily find their train car without walking long along the platform.
  7. Environment:
  8. The lockable door to soft sleeper cabin isolates noise from the aisle providing a quiet travel environment to passengers.

Overhead Storage Cabinet inside Soft Sleeper Compartment
Photo SS-3. The Soft Sleeper Cabin Has Overhead Storage Bin to Place Your Luggage and Etc.

Travel Tips

Boarding and Alighting: Please queue up orderly to board or alight the train to avoid congestion.
On arrival reminder:: on board the train, you will be requested by the train attendent to exchange the soft sleeper ticket to a berth token. Before the train approaches to your destination, the attendent would walk to your berth to return the ticket. This is also a kind reminder to tell you that you are about to arrive, so please don't hesitate to leave your bed and gather your carry on and luggage to make preparation for alighting. Meanwhile, passengers don't need to worry about miss the stops as the train attendent is obligated to return your ticket to remind you before arrival. Please note, on arrival reminder is not offered to seat ticket holders personally.
Toilet Usage Rule: For security reason, toilet would be closed 10 to 15 minutes in advance every time the train stops at a station to drop off and pick up passengers. Please go to toilet in proper time.
Bedtime: It has no scheduled lights out time. You can negotiate with your travel mates to decide when to turn off the main light in the cabin. Meanwhile, you can use the private reading lamp for purpose of personal lighting when the main light is off.
Valuables Safe Keeping: Please keep the valuable carry-ons such as cash, mobile devices, passport, bank card and etc on the inner side of your berth and make them as close as possible to you to keep them safe.

Before the ending of this article, we want to remind that you can go to the homepage www.chinatrainguide.com to search train schedule and find if soft sleepers are available for your travel.If you find this article useful, please share it to others through the following buttons.


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