Shanghai Railway Station: a guide

Shanghai Railway Station (Shanghai Huoche Zhan, 上海火车站, a.k.a. Shanghai Station, 上海站) is also known as New Passenger Railway Station (Xin Kezhan, 新客站) by Shanghai residents to distinguish it from the old North Station which retired in 1987. 刘建春 (Liu Jianchun) described the history and development of the history of Shanghai railway stations in a book《火车老站地图》(Map of Railway Stations) published in 2007. The earliest railway station in Shanghai was put to operation in 1876. And there have been 7 railways stations existing in Shanghai in the past 130 years, including the existing ones. It is very interesting to see how these stations were built and moved or changed or disappeared. I marked them on the map below for your quick reference, check here for an interactive version. (The site of an old South Station in Luwan District is not included.)

Map of Shanghai Railway Stations in the history

Today, as a traveler, you only need to know Shanghai South Railway Station (上海南站) and Shanghai Railway Station. They are the major stations for passengers. In Shanghai Railway Station, there are two squares: South Square (南广场) & North Square (北广场). South Square is in front of the station waiting building (候车楼,hòuchē lóu). North Square is a hub for long distance buses. So if you want to take trains, you only care about South Square.

Getting there

1. Metro: Both Metro Line 1 and Line 3/4 have a stop called “Shanghai Railway Station”. Notes: 1. Line 3/4 is the same line at this station; 2. Stations of Line 1 and Line 3/4 are not directly connected. Passengers need to exit one station and reenter the other which means to pay twice.

2. Taxi: It takes me about 22 RMB and 15 minutes from JingAn Temple area to the station by taxi in weekends. So it is a very convinient option in non-rush hour. All taxi stop at an underground parking garage in South Square. Always say “South Square” when taxi driver asks you.

3. Buses: Many buses have terminals at the railway station as bus is still a major transportation option for majority of locals. But, the travel time is never esitmatable. Not recommended.

Shanghai Railway Station: underground garage

This is the underground garage for taxi to unload passengers. Follow the sign (below) to go upstairs.

Shanghai Railway Station: underground garage

On the South Square

Shanghai Railway Station

Once you are on the South Square, you will see this glass-walled building when you are facing north. The red banner says ” Warmly Celebrate ‘May 1st’ International Labor‘s Day“.

Shanghai Railway Station

There are two HUGE signs like this on the east and west entrances of the building (候车大楼,Waiting Building). It says” Entrance: enter the station with a ticket (of a train) that departs within 2 hours”.

Shanghai Railway Station: in the waiting building

Pay attention to the digital bill boards on both sides before you head upstairs. It will tell you which rooms to wait for your train.

Shanghai Railway Station: Direction

Go to Room 9 (9号) on first floor (ground) (一楼) if you are taking Shanghai to Kowloon (九龙)/Guangzhou East Railway Station (广州东) train that departs on odd dates (e.g. May 1st, 3rd, 5th..). Go to Room 0 (0号) on second floor (二楼) if you are taking Shanghai to Guangzhou East Railway Station train that departs on even dates (e.g. May 2nd, 4th, 6th…). NOTE:In this borad, it says the arrangement is for the “current month” (May 2008). So you might want to double check if you are traveling in the future months. Otherwise, follow the instruction on the bill boards.

Shanghai Railway Station: CHR

This sign tells you which waiting room you should go to take China Railway Highspeed (CRH) trains (buillet train, 和谐号, 动车组). For example, if you are taking D416, go to Room 3 or 4. If your seat is in carriage (车厢) 1-8, go to Room 3. Otherwise, Room 4.


But, I was disappointed to see the English sign says: “Moves The Vehicle Crew Waiting Room” which is translated from “动车组“ word by word. I don’t understand why the high speed bullet trains are called “动车组”, so it is not suprised to see Google translates it as ” Multiple Units“.

CRH 和谐号

5 seats a row, clear and all non smoking. Nice train, isn’t it?


Follow this poster on the back of each seat, you wil know where to find water and restroom (toilet)!

Leaving the Station

Most likely, you are walking in a tunel after getting off the train. If you are not going to connect to a long distance bus, always take “South Square” (南广场) direction. Right before the exit, you can decide to take Metro or ground transportations. The taxi garage entrance is on the right-hand side (west) of the square, walk towards “停车场” on the ground and go downstairs. Where there is a line, there is taxi.

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