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Are there any search engines/journey planners that can provide intercity train connections in China?

Specifically, I'm looking for something like Japan's Jorudan, which will happily suggest both direct and connecting trains. The standard ones that show up on Google, like Ctrip or China.org.cn, only seem to be able to provide direct, one-train connections. English preferred, but I'll tackle Chinese if I have to.

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    Do you have an example of an A->B itinerary where both direct connections and A->C->B connections exist and make sense? I mean you could travel Beijing to Shanghai also via Xian but what are your criteria to include such connections? – mts Jun 13 '18 at 17:06
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    @mts Actual inspiration for this question: we're going from Beijing to Xining, but the direct overnight train is full and connections via Xi'an don't show up in searches. – jpatokal Jun 13 '18 at 23:11
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In the end, I found two ways to do this, but both require knowing at least a bit of Chinese.

  1. The clunky but straightforward way is to use the ctrip.com website in Chinese, select 中转 from the far-left dropdown, and manually input the connecting city. (This feature is not available on the English version of the site.) Here's Beijing to Xining via Xi'an (only), with Beijing-Xi'an trains on the left and Xi'an-Xining trains on the right:

enter image description here

  1. The slick but more labor-intensive way is to install the Chinese Ctrip app aka 携程旅行, and then just do a regular train search, which will automatically show suitable connections through any city. Here's Beijing to Xining again, which shows those connections through Xi'an:

enter image description here

Hat tip to the friendly folk at /r/china for pointing the way.

  • Ctrip has an English language site on Trip.com, but it doesn't seem to have this connecting city feature for train searches. – Ankur Banerjee Jul 24 '18 at 11:32
  • @AnkurBanerjee That's right, and I've now called this out -- thanks! – jpatokal Jul 24 '18 at 11:37

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