Headed for the Beijing West Train Station pretty early since I knew that the subway would be packed. Had breakfast and coffee at McDonald's in the train station. Got into the departure area after a little confusion about which entry to use. Foreigners had to go through a special entry where passports were checked.
At the gate, a massive number of people filled the huge departure hall for my train. Once they opened the gate the throng got through pretty fast and then dissipated along the train platform. I had to walk almost the whole length of the train to find coach number 4. There was an attendant at each coach door to check tickets.
Found my seat next to an old guy who wanted to lean on me the whole way. There was a stop about half way to Datong and about half of the passengers got off of the train. I found a seat with more space for the rest of the trip.
Got to Datong and took a taxi to the hotel which was semi-easy to find. It was a huge apartment that was turned into a hostel. There was only one other person staying there and I never ran into her. I had a spacious room on the 22nd floor with a nice view of the smoggy city.
Later I Took a walk around the area to buy some groceries and find out how to get to the old town.