Changsha is on the main Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed train ( gaotie )line (the high-speed train station
is Changsha South (ChangShaNan) ). Train tickets can be bought:
At a high-speed rail station in another city
Tickets for the high-speed 'G' trains (gaotie) or slightly slower 'D' trains can be bought at ticket counters at stations (stations in some of the biggest Chinese cities may have an English-speaking ticket counter).
From Beijing, high-speed trains to Changsha operate from the Beijing West station
From Shanghai, high-speed trains operate from Shanghai Hongqiao Station (near Shanghai Hongqiao [ SHA ] airport, in the east of the city). A lot of international flights to Shanghai land in Shanghai Pudong airport [ PVG ] (west of the city) which is all the way on the other side of the city. There is a metro line that joins the two airports but anticipate at least two hours to get from one side of Shanghai to the other by this route.
From Guangzhou, high-speed trains operate from Guangzhou South Station.
Online (web sites or phone apps)
A number of websites sell high-speed train tickets online. For example, to book high-speed trains on the online travel agent CTrip , where trains can be securely booked and paid for using, for example, Western credit cards, first select 'Trains', then enter the desired starting point and destination and date, then select the 'High-speed trains' filter to check availability. Once successfully ordered and confirmed, there are several ways to pick up the tickets :
Ask for the tickets to be mailed to you (ask, . CTrip about this),
Ask for the tickets to be mailed to a hotel in, . Beijing or Shanghai, where you may be stopping over before travelling on to Changsha (after checking that the hotel can keep the tickets and give them to you on your arrival there),
Ask CTrip for E-tickets , then take the E-ticket codes to the ticket collection office in the relevant high-speed train station. This can be done by presenting the ticket reference number, together with a passport for ID purposes, at specially-labelled ticket counters (these counters have the characters '护照' , passport , written on them).