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2008/12/17

Riding the Rails for Crazy Prices

File this under crazy (h/t to Zhongnanhai). A couple weeks back we blogged about the announcement of the new overnight high speed D trains connecting Beijing and Shanghai and speculated that the price would remain similar to what it is now (or only be raised slightly). Well, today the price list came out and we're shocked, shocked I tell you.

Our guess on the times of the train were almost right on (the trains will all leave slightly before 10 pm and arrive slightly before 8 am). The price? As we mentioned, the Z trains (11 hours, 30 minutes) and T trains (13 hours) currently charge RMB499 (lower) and RMB478 (upper) for soft sleeper tickets. The new trains, like the Z trains, will be all soft sleeper, but will charge RMB655 and RMB730.

What?!? RMB730? A difference of RMB75 for upper or lower sleeper?!? Wow! This is truly stupid and has already met with complaints from travelers. And if you want to go between Beijing and Hangzhou, its RMB820! Flights (pre-tax) between Beijing and Shanghai would currently run you RMB450 on qunar. It doesn't make sense that adding the D overnight train has taken this long, but for these prices, though at these prices, its doesn't make sense to take it.

1 comment:

Ben said...

yeah, this does seem pretty weird...the whole point of a train is that its supposed to be cheaper than flying, right?