Home How to Use a China Train E-ticket

How to Use a China Train E-ticket

In the past, when traveling around by train in China, one of the troublesome things was having to queuing up in line to pick up paper tickets before boarding the train. During peak season, it could take more than an hour!

Now, e-ticket service is available to save a lot of time and hassle. Paper tickets are no longer needed when checking in at the station and boarding the train.

Can foreigners also use e-tickets on Chinese trains? Yes. E-tickets has come for all trains nationwide. After e-tickets are issued, foreign travelers will be able to swipe your passports at the automatic check-in machine or at the manual ticket check-in gate to board the train.

How to Book China Train E-Tickets

What you need to book an e-ticket: passport is needed for foreign travelers; Mainland Travel Permit is required for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan passengers.

When China train tickets can be purchased: China train tickets can be purchased up to 15 days before the departure day when booking online, and 3 days in advance if you buy them at the train station. Train Spread accepts booking requests months ahead and will purchase your tickets as soon as reservations open. It is recommended that you book train tickets as early as possible, especially during Chinese holidays.

china high-speed train

Paper tickets are no longer needed for boarding

Buy Train Tickets with Train Spread

It is recommended that you book train tickets online in advance to guarantee the seat. Train Spread makes train ticket online booking available to you to save you time, hassle, and money. All inquiries will be handled by our experienced and professional travel advisors to ensure you get the best service. After your tickets are issued, we will send a confirmation letter to you via email, with the e-ticket information and train travel suggestions.

Buy Train Tickets at the Station

You can also buy train tickets at the railway station. All the passengers' original passports are required when buying tickets at the ticket counters. We suggest that you search on our website or app to check the up-to-date schedules. Then write down the train number, departure and arriaval stations, travel date and all the other necessary information and show the ticket counter, as stuff at the train station can only speak Chinese.

Also read How to Purchase Chinese Train Tickets.

Instructions on Using a Train E-ticket in China

Using e-tickets to take trains is much more convenient than using paper tickets. No doubt it will also save lots of time when you’re on a tight schedule. It also avoids problems created by losing or forgetting your train ticket. Read on to learn how to use a Chinese train e-ticket.

1. Get Your E-Ticket

After your e-ticket is issued, your seat will be assigned and you will get an e-ticket number or e-ticket QR code. But e-ticket number or QR code are not necessary for boarding the train.

If you book train tickets with Train Spread, we will send a confirmation letter with e-ticket information in English, coach number and seat number, etc. You just need to remember your train, coach and your seat numbers.

2. Enter the Train Station

Once your train tickets are issued, follow the direction boards to entern the station's main entrance. Your passport or valid ID certificate used for ticket booking will be checked at the entrance for identity check.

If you’d like to pick up a ticket receipt on hand just in case, or forget your seat information, you can still pick up a ticket receipt at the ticket windows. But it is not necessary for checking in and boarding.

China train e-ticket check point

Manual and Automatic Boarding Channels

3. Check in and Board the Train

The boarding gates are located at the waitng hall. When it come to the time for boarding, just swipe your passport at the automatic ticket-check point to check in. If you are at a train station that doesn't have ticket-check machines for scanning passports or travel permits, you can head to a the manual channel (人工通道) to have your identification scanned by a railway staffer.

4. Check Out

Upon arriving at the destination station, you will be required to either scan your passport or travel permit at the self-service channel or present them to the staff at the manual channel in order to exit. It is important to have your identification documents ready for this process.

Also read How to Take a Train in China.

How to Change or Cancel an E-Ticket

Train e-tickets can be changed or cancelled before departure if you have changed your plan or made a mistake. Simply email us with your updated plan or request, and we will handle the necessary adjustments for you.

Additionally, you have the option to change or cancel your train tickets at any railway station in China's mainland before the departure time. It's important to bring your ID certificate, which was used for ticket booking, as it will be required for making changes or cancellations. Please note that China Rail will impose a service fee for changing or cancelling tickets ranging from 0% to 20% of the ticket fare.

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