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An efficient and secure way for foreign tourists to book and purchase train tickets in China is by using a reliable online travel agency. However, buying through travel agencies the costs can be more, since travel agencies will charge a service fee. On the other hand, you will know that the booking is guaranteed and fixed.
Dozens of trains can be found, when searching online train schedule through the web. However, beware that not all train tickets are available for purchase such as short distance tickets. If the travel distance takes a small part in a long distance journey a ticket could not be purchased. In some cases, tickets are only purchasable in the departure city.
Compulsory documents such as full name and passport number are required for each passenger when booking tickets. E-tickets are not provided and tickets are not deliverable to countries abroad. However, we provide the possibility to deliver tickets to your hotel of staying according to your arrival in the city where you would like to depart by train.
CITS is now offering on-line booking service for train ticket, which allows you to depart from many cities throughout China. To start your booking, please click China domestic train booking.
Rail stations at big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have a special English-speaking ticket counter for foreigners. In Beijing, tickets can be bought at the Beijing Main Rail Station, the Beijing West Rail Station or Beijing South Rail Station. Be aware that only domestic Chinese tickets are sold, thus no international tickets. Allow plenty of time to buy your ticket, as you may have to queue.
Note, before buying tickets at the rail station, check the opening date for purchase. High-speed train tickets in the C, D, G or Z-category could be purchased 10 days before departure. For the high-speed train tickets in the K or T category are only open 5 days before departure. Tickets are only purchasable during the opening date. Opening dates are subject to change during the Chinese holidays or festivals such as spring festival or national holidays. It is recommended to buy tickets as soon as they could be purchased.
Passengers can book train tickets online on China Railway Customer Service Center (www.12306.cn). As of 2012, all train tickets are available online. However the website is only available in Chinese.
Online reservation service is only offered to its registered users, for tickets in 1-10 days usually (1-12 days in advance for 2012 Spring Festival Rush). Payment online are applicable for bank card of the Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and bank cards stipulated by China Union Pay. The users should open up the e-currency payment service.
Telephone booking is available in several cities but only for local citizens. For the following cities, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan, Nanchang, Taiyuan, Shenyang, Zhengzhou and Lanzhou the number 95105105 is applicable. For Chengdu 96006 and for Xian 96688.
The real-name train ticket policy is applied to all trains in China as from January 1, 2012. In order to get on the train, passengers should present a valid ticket and ID certificate.
ID certificates that are banded for buying a 'real-name train ticket' are:
-Chinese citizen ID card
-Permit of Inland Entry and Exit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents
-Permit of Mainland land Entry and Exit for Taiwan Residents
-Permit for Mainland Residents to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
-Residence Permit for Foreigners
-Aliens' Exit-Entry Permit
-Diplomat Certificate, etc
It is allowed to buy one ticket per valid ID certificate. The passenger's ID certificate number will be printed on the ticket. When boarding the train, passengers should present the train ticket with their own ID certificate.
Please note that children are required to be accompanied by adults on the train.
1. The price of tickets for children between 1.2M and 1.5M amounts to 50% of the price of a normal ticket.
2. Children less than 1.2 M are free if sharing a seat or berth with an adult (It is allowed to have one free child per adult. If there is more than one child per adult a half-price ticket will be charged);
3.Children above 1.5 M are ticketed at a full price.