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Questions: 116. How to board my train in Beijing?
There are two major stations in Beijing, Beijing Main (metro Bejingzhan) and Beijing West (also called Beijing Xi or Xizhan, metro Junshibowuguan).

Trans-Siberian trains to Moscow & Ulan Bator use Beijing Main, as do trains to Shanghai. The direct train to Hong Kong and trains to Xian, Guangzhou & Tibet all use Beijing West station.

Both Beijing stations are large and busy, and some people find them confusing. So arrive in plenty of time for your train!

When you reach the station, you must first go through airport-style security controls into the departure area.

For soft sleeper travel, you must then find the appropriate waiting lounge for your train. There are a number of different waiting lounges, and the electronic message boards show which is the right one for each specific train. Tickets are checked on entering the lounge, so you can be sure you are in the right place.

Inside the lounge, the electronic message boards show the trains departing from that lounge, for the next 24 hours. Trains are usually allocated between lounges so there is ½ hour or more between each departure from that lounge.

Most trains are shown as "on time", but the most immediate departures are shown as "waiting". Once a train is ready for boarding (normally about 30 minutes before departure) it is shown as "check in", meaning you can proceed through ticket control to the platform. About 5 minutes before departure the barrier is closed and the train is shown as "check out".
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