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.
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.
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
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.
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 theother 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.
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.
After your e-ticket is issued, your seat will be assigned and you will get a ticket number or e-ticket QR code. But 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.
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.
Manual and Automatic Boarding Channels
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.
When arriving at the destination station, you need to scan your passport or travel permit at the self-service channel or show them at the manual channel to exit.
Also read How to Take a Train in China.
Train e-tickets can be changed or cancelled before departure if you have changed your plan or made a mistake. Just email us with your new plan and we will do the rest for you. You can also change or cancel your train tickets at any railway station in Mainland China before departure. Your ID certificate used for ticket booking is required for changing or cancelling tickets. A cancellation fee of 0-20% of the ticket fare will be charged by China Rail.
Sleeper trains between China and Vietman connect Beijing/Nanning and Gia Lam, Hanoi.
Two international trains running between China and Russia including Trans-Mongolian Railway.