Changzhou has three high-speed rail stations. The most commonly used can be found in the city center, in the Tianning District. This station services passengers wanting to to use the line between Shanghai and Nanjing. You can also get to other places like Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Hefei from here.
The other major station is in Xinbei. In English, this is most commonly called “Changzhou North.” It’s a totally different rail line connecting Shanghai to Beijing. The stops are all different, too. Yes, the trains stop in Nanjing and Wuxi, but they don’t stop at the central stations in those cities. (Respectively, its Nanjing South and Wuxi East). Once you pass Nanjing, the train heads north to places like Xuzhou, Chuzhou, Bengbu, and more with Beijing South Station as its terminal point.
Then, there is Qishuyan Station. It’s provincial at best. It’s tiny. And if you do not live in Qishuyan, this is a very annoying stop on the way to Shanghai or other points east. It’s only on the Shanghai-to-Nanjing line. Once you leave Changzhou’s central station, the train coasts very slowly for like five minutes and then stops. Two to five people may board or depart. Thankfully, not all trains stop here, according the schedules you can find on Ctrip.com.
I find the existence of this train station a little troubling. First, Qishuyan is no longer a district in Changzhou city proper. It got folded into Wujin last year — at the same time when Jintan stopped being a independent and was absorbed into Changzhou’s redefined city limits. It’s almost if if the municipal government bet on Qishuyan being an important financial center, hedged it bets, years later, and then started backing away. So, now there is a high speed rail station nobody really uses. Honestly, check Ctrip.com for how many trains actually stop there.
Besides, in the years I lived in Wujin, I always thought having an honest “Changzhou South” station made more sense. The Xinbei, Tianning, and Qishuyan stations are highly annoying to get to when you work in Wujin’s many, many factories and industrial parks, or at Changzhou’s southern college town. All three are either long bus rides or expensive taxi fares. They are certainly NOT convenient to get to.
But what do I know? Who am I to question grand scheme of urban planning in China? I’m just a silly laowai 老外, a foolish foreigner, right?
So, I will now shut up and teach my Oral English classes.