The real Airport Express and subway system in Beijing – Info for China vacations

The speed of the Beijing subway train is about 73.3 km / hour. Because the subway system of Beijing is very new and lots of new technologies are used to build it, most people believe that the Beijing subway system should be advanced and convenient. But I find that this subway system is not convenient for the passengers and lots of time is wasted in the transfer stations, especially for the Line 13. I live in Beijing for almost 10 years and I think I can get a good understanding of the subway system of Beijing. (more info about the Beijing airfare, China vacations and Shanghai airfare at Travel2ChinaInfo Dot COM)

I will give an example here. It’s only 3 minutes’ ride from Jishuitan to Beijing north railway station. From the digital map, I got this info: (1). Take the Line 2 subway in Jishuitan and get off on Xizhimen. (2). Walk 150 meters and you will get to the Beijing north railway station. I decided to take the subway for this trip. At first, I thought that it will only cost me 10 minutes to get to my destination by subway. I entered the Entrance C of the Jishuitan station. There is no down escalator here and I have to walk down by myself. I am ok with this. But it will be a horrible experience for those passengers with big luggages. I took a train to Xizhimen. When I arrived at Xizhimen, I saw a direction board telling me to go to Exit A (for the Beijing north railway station). There are a lot of passengers in this subway station and you will see many people carrying big luggages here. But they have to walk up and down too in this subway station. (no escalator for the passengers who transfer to the Line 13 subway) You can imagine how hard this subway transfer could be for these people. This railway station is not just inconvenient for the passengers, it is very time consuming too. I entered the Jishuitan station on 14:02 and get to my destination – Beijing north railway station – on 14:40. Wow! 38 minutes! I spent only 5 minutes taking the subway train and the other 33 minutes was all used in the subway transfer. (many up and down stairs in the Xizhimen station)

The Xizhimen transfer station is a nightmare for most passengers but it will be nothing comparing with the Military Museum Station. You will have to get off in this station if you wanna go to the Beijing west railway station by subway. There is a subway station named “Beijing west railway station” in the blueprint of the Beijing subway system. But this station is not ready till today and all the passengers have to walk to the Beijing west railway station with their big luggages. To be honest, this is not a good choice. It is too far away from the Military Museum subway station to the Beijing West Railway Station and you will be exhausted if you choose to go there on foot. You’d better take a taxi or bus instead.

As I know, the Fuxinmen transfer station and Guomao transfer station are very time consuming too. In my point of view, the Beijing subway system is not very convenient if you have to do some transfers to get to your destination. These transfers will cost you too much time and energy. In this case, the taxi or bus will be better for you.

The Airport Express is designed for the passengers to the Beijing Capital Airport. But most people choose to take the airport bus now instead of this Airport Express subway line. I took this Airport Express once. It is not comparable with the Airport Express in Hongkong or Paris, although these two were built earlier. There is no place for big luggages in the train and you have to put your luggages in the aisle. When I get off at the Dongzhimen station, I was disappointed again. You will have to carry your big luggages by hand because there is no escalator here too just like the Xizhimen transfer station. I talked to the security guy and he told me that all the passengers from the airport have to use the stairs and he heard lots of complains about this issue. The transfer in the Dongzhimen station is very time consuming too. Because of this, you will spend more time to get to the Beijing Capital Airport if you choose to take this Airport Express subway, comparing with the airport bus. This Airport Express is more expensive too. It costs 25 rmb. But you will only need to pay 16 rmb for the airport bus. No wonder most people choose the airport bus now. I heard that some people missed the plane because the delay of the Airport Express train. This “Express” subway line is not that fast in my point of view. Another disadvantage of this Airport Express is that the train will always get to the T3 terminal first, then go to the T2 terminal. If you are going to the T1 terminal, you will need to go to your destination on foot again !