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Vietnam Railways/China Railway MR1/T8702: Hanoi (Gia Lam) to Nanning by Train
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The Hanoi – Nanning train, jointly operated by Vietnam Railways and China Railway, is an international railway service running between Vietnam and China. The sleeper through train connects Hanoi to Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province in southern China overnight.
Now you can easily book your train tickets for the international railway service between Vietnam and China with Baolau.
International train service jointly operated by Vietnam Railways and China RailwayThe train service MR1/T8702 is jointly operated by Vietnam Railways and China Railway, and is divided to two segments: MR1 service from Hanoi to Dong Dang, and T8702 service from Pingxiang to Nanning.
The coaches, operated by China Railway Nanning Group, are hauled by Vietnam Railways locomotives on the Vietnamese sector, then connected to China Railway locomotives after crossing the border into Mainland China.
The most unique part of this railway service is that it runs on the Hanoi–Dong Dang railroad, which is a dual-gauge railway that allows the passage of trains of two different track gauges: the meter gauge adopted in Vietnam and the standard gauge used in China. Hence, unlike the rest of Vietnam’s rail network, the portion between Gia Lam Railway Station and Dong Dang at the border allows standard gauge passenger and cargo trains bound to China.
As such, the train is only able to reach up Gia Lam, not the central station Hanoi Railway Station.
Departure from Gia Lam Railway Station in HanoiGia Lam Railway Station is the terminus of standard gauge rail services in Vietnam, respectively on the Hanoi–Dong Dang and Hanoi–Ha Long railway lines. Getting to Gia Lam Railway Station is quite easy by taxi or other popular ride-hailing applications. However, note that it is located across the Red river, not in central Hanoi, so factor in around 1 hour for the journey to play safe, especially when battling the traffic jams. On a smooth day, the ride will take around 20 minutes, but you should never use that as an estimate or else you risk missing your train.
If you arrive to Gia Lam on time and have not gotten any supplies for the train ride, you may purchase snacks and drinks at the small shops across the station. There is no dining car attached to the through train, so remember to take along some food and water as the next time you will have the chance to eat something will be in Nanning.
Passengers can purchase the tickets directly at the TICKET COUNTER FOR GIA LAM – NANNING – BEIJING TRAIN located inside Gia Lam Railway Station, although this option is not recommended as given the limited capacity of the sleeper train, tickets may sell out for departing on the same day. In order to secure your trip in advance, it is preferable that you book your tickets online.
If you book your train tickets online with Baolau, you will receive an electronic voucher attached to your booking confirmation by email. The electronic voucher can be exchanged for the physical tickets at the station before boarding. The paper tickets issued for the international railway service come in three languages: Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian.
After ticket collection and verification of travel documents to ensure immigration clearance, the passengers will be allowed to enter the train platform.
Passenger experienceThe MR1/T8702 train is made up of 5 China Railway Soft Sleeper (软卧) coaches, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7.
While boarding, the attendant will check the paper tickets and exchange these for a berth card, which is your actual berth assignment for the journey. Keep this berth card with you until the end of the journey. You will also be approached by the attendant later on to verify your passport and visas for the border crossing.
Coaches are comprised by 4-berth compartments with 2 Upper Soft beds and 2 Lower Soft beds, distributed on each side of the cabin. At the end of each coach there are restrooms and a supply of drinking water.
While pricier than regular Hard sleeper coaches operated by China Railway, the Soft sleeper is more comfortable and deliver frills which are of a higher standard than the Hard sleeper.
The Soft sleeper, as the name suggests, offers a soft mattress to sleep on for the overnight journey with clean bedding and pillows for each passenger.
This article first appeared on www.baolau.com
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