You should arrive at the station at least an hour ahead of the departure. At some major stations in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and other big cities, the stations are very big and passengers need some time to find their trains. Security checks before boarding are necessary for most D-train/G-train stations.
Most boarding indicators are in Chinese, but you can still figure it out once you have an idea of your departure time, train code and destination. Follow the boarding indicator information and go to the appropriate waiting room to wait for your train. There are about 10–15 minutes left for boarding before departure.
At major train stations, the status of each train will be shown on departure boards, such as “on time”, “waiting”, “check in” and “check out”. If your train is shown as “check in”, it indicates that passengers can go through to the platform. If your train is shown as “check out”, it unfortunately means you have missed your train.