Too much noise on high-speed trains? There are quiet cars

Editor︰Xu Ke

Have you ever been annoyed by the noises of passengers chatting loudly or incessantly watching videos while traveling on high-speed trains?

Some high-speed trains now have quiet cars, allowing passengers to enjoy their journey in peace.

Volume of in-carriage announcements reduced by 70%

The 72 high-speed trains with quiet cars are currently all Fuxing bullet trains. (Web Image)

As early as 2020, the railway authorities started a trial run on quiet cars.

By January 20, 2024, the number of trains with quiet cars expanded to 72, covering several major high-speed rail lines like Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Guangzhou, Beijing-Harbin, Shanghai-Kunming, and Xi'an-Chengdu, all using Fuxing bullet trains.

Reportedly, high-speed trains to and from Hong Kong did not yet have quiet cars. But if you are traveling between Shenzhen and Shanghai, one pair of trains G997 and G998 offer this service.

What's different about "quiet car" compared to regular cars?

To create a "quiet" environment, the volume of in-carriage announcements, such as station names, is at 30% to 40% of the regular volume.

There's no need to worry about missing your stop due to the lower volume, because the train attendants will know every passenger's arrival information and provide "one-to-one" arrival reminder services.

Not recommended for passengers with infants

When using electronic devices in a quiet car, passengers should wear headphones or turn off the speaker's output function. (Web Image)

Moreover, on long-distance high-speed trains, there will be attendants selling food and drinks. They will stop their promotions once entering the quiet cars.

If passengers need anything, they can order by scanning a QR code.

Of course, while passengers enjoy the "quiet commonality", they also need to abide by "quiet regulations". For instance, passengers should wear headphones or turn off the audio output function when using electronic devices, and mobile phones ought to be set on silent or vibration mode.

If passengers need to make phone calls or engage in conversations, they should leave the quiet car; passengers traveling with children should take care of their kids to avoid making noise.

In fact, authorities explicitly "do not recommend" passengers traveling with infants to choose quiet cars.

Read more: Why don't high-speed trains have seat belts?

Read more: Bought a standing-only ticket = Standing all the way? "Three-color light code" helps you find a seat

Same price as regular second-class seat

Not many trains have quiet carriages. Passengers need to find trains with a "quiet" sign (left) and choose "Please prioritise assigning me to a 'quiet carriage' seat" when buying tickets (right). (By Our China Story)

According to the railway authorities, if a passenger makes a lot of noise in the quiet car, the staff will dissuade them.

If repeated persuasion fails, the staff will take "coercive measures" and ask them to move to other cars.

As for how quiet the actual situation is and whether there will be passengers who disregard public morals, it's something that can only be known through actual experience.

Finally, how to buy tickets for the quiet cars?

On the official website or App of "12306", trains with a "quiet" sign are the ones that have quiet cars.

When buying tickets and choosing seats, passengers can select "Please prioritise assigning me to a quiet car seat"; if the quiet car is full, the system will automatically assign seats in other cars.

The ticket price of the quiet car is the same as a regular second-class seat.

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Too much noise on high-speed trains? There are quiet cars