We like trains, and they are always a good way to experience a country. So instead of flying we booked an overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an. The train left from Beijing West station which looks much like a Las Vegas hotel and is enormous, but only 10 platforms. Wierd, but looks impressive. Its a pretty military operation and the staff look all very official and don’t seem to like to smile. There are different classes of train, we travelled on a Z class soft sleeper. Not the fastest but still a non-stop Express. You share with 2 others in bunk beds and each carriage has a shared bathroom. KT had a bottom and I had a top.
The room was small and we shared with 2 ladies that didn’t say much. The train left 30 seconds early at 8.50pm, everyone went to bed pretty much immediately, no party on this train that’s for sure.
It was around this time when we realised how cold it was on the train. On the air con gauge in the corridor it said 0.5 deg. It was freezing. We slept fully clothed with full cold weather gear on. In the middle of the night it warmed up to 9 deg, so the body warmer could be removed, however the onset of frostbite had kicked in and this was a feat in itself.
We emerged the following morning somewhat bedraggled but pleased that it was a lot smoother than an overnight KL to Singapore train experience from a couple of years ago. Pulling into Xi’an station Paul exclaimed, “This is some seriously good train kit they have here.” A very Jeff thing to say.