A few pictures:
Leaving from Changsha. In China, train station are similar as churches in europe, a very important ideological building. They date back from Mao’s time and symbolize the unity of China.
This travel is slow. It takes about 11 hours from Changsha to Shenzhen.
Old train disappear and are replace by high speed, confortable but two or three times more expensive!
With high speed trains the same travel takes less than 4 hours from Changsha to Shenzhen, a revolution for China!
In China, it is very difficult to buy a train ticket : impossible to buy a train ticket more than two weeks before the departure date (in order to avoid speculation and black market). What is more part of the train tickets are automaticaly requisitionned by agencies and private individual. The best is therefore to buy at some agency or private individual: pay you ticket a little bit more, avoid the queue, the stress and deception of having no ticket left.
Network matters in China, even for a train ticket.
Fast train are less booked (more expensive). You can also get plane ticket at good pricings.