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China Train Ticket Booking FAQ

How to Book

 How many days in advance can I book train tickets in China?

 Generally speaking, tickets are released 15 days before the departure date. Some special or temporary trains may have their pre-sale period less than 15 days.

For passengers booking with us, the earlier, the better! Especially during peak times, confirm your reservation before the tickets are released to the public. That is to say 15 days or more before the departure date. To avoid disappointment, at least 3 days in advance is required.

 Can I book by phone?

 Sure you can! Just call us, and we will help you finish the booking procedures, or you can book directly through our online system with very clear instructions. Please note that if you book by phone, there is still some information that you need to submit online.

 How to input my name for booking? Very important!

 The real-name policy requires all passengers’ accurate full names, without omitting any single letter, abbreviating middle names, or changing the order. For example:
Surname: Gates
Given Names: Peter Christopher
Then you should offer the full name: Gates Peter Christopher
If your full name on the passport is in one line, please provide it exactly the same as it shows on the passport.

 What documents are required for booking?

 Every passenger's exact First Name, Given Name, passport number, date of issue & date of expiration of the passport are required. It is a good way to upload your passport so that we can double check the required information.  

 How to choose train types and seat/berth classes?

 Click to see details about China train ticket types. For a long journey on high-speed trains, first class, second class or business class seats are all good choices. For an overnight journey on an ordinary fast trains, sleepers are suggested.

 If I need to connect a train in a city, how do I book the tickets?

  It should be note that many cities have more than one railway station. When booking, you’d better make the arrival and connecting departure station the same. If the schedule does not fit and you have to transit at two different stations, please do leave enough time for transfer between.

 How do I pay?

 At present, we accept payment by Paypal, Alipay and WeChat, and also by bank transfer. Paypal accepts almost all kinds of credit cards and debit cards. 

 Do you accept credit card?

 Yes. We accept payment by credit card. To make it easier, you can also pay with your credit card through Paypal.

 Can I book with you, but pay at the railway station?

 No. According to the rules of China Rail, all the train tickets are issued directly without previous booking, and the payment is required when issuing the ticket. We need your payment to issue the ticket via China Rail.

 How can I check my booking status after my reservation and payment?

 Please refer to Order Status Check page.
Enter your Tracking Number and email address to find your booking status.

 Do I need to pick up paper ticket at railway station?

 No. There is no need to pick up the paper ticket. Almost all China train tickets are e-tickets, you can show your original passport to enter the station and board the train. But we will still offer you the Pick-Up Number in case you want the paper ticket as a souvenir or for reimbursement.

Tickets Availability

 After I make my reservation when will I know if my tickets are available?

 Now the tickets are released 15 days before the departure date. We will confirm for you as soon as possible after the release.

 Can I definitely get my tickets after making a successful payment to you?

 We cannot 100% guarantee the availability because all the tickets are controlled by the China Rail. We will issue your required tickets once the tickets are released. If it is not available, we will try to find other alternatives for you and we shall keep you informed about this. 

 Can I get a full refund if my required ticket is not available? Will you offer other options?

 If your required ticket is not available, we will try our best to find more solutions for you. If all are not acceptable by you, we will fully refund your payment.

 If I book several tickets, can I get seats next to each other?

 Generally speaking, adjacent seats are available if you book early. We will try our best to reserve adjacent seats for our customers, but we can't guaranteed it due to the random distribution of available seats. For trains on some popular routes, we will try, but you may have to take what you can get.

 Could three passengers occupy a whole compartment with four soft sleepers?

 Due to the real-name system, one person can only buy one ticket. If three want to get a whole compartment, you can borrow an extra valid passport from a friend and buy four tickets. But first, please make sure a whole compartment is available. Sometimes tickets are limited and a whole compartment is not available. Then there is no need to waste money to occupy an extra sleeper.

Note: Whole compartment booking by less than four passengers is available on overnight high-speed sleeper carriages running between Beijing and Guangzhou, Beijing and Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and Shanghai and Shenzhen. The fare is the total of all sleepers inside the compartment. Due to the real-name system, we still need all of your passport copies for booking.

 Can I change or cancel my order?

 Before the ticket is issued, we can change and cancel the order requiring no extra charge. After issuing but before departure, we make change or cancellation based on the regulation of China Rail and our policy. After the journey, we do not accept any change or cancellation.

For the detailed change and cancellation policy, please check the following page:
Terms and Conditions for China Train Ticket Booking

For other questions regarding to taking train travels in China, please refer to the following page. Thank you!
8 Facts on China Train Travel

- Last updated on Jul. 20, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on China Train Ticket Booking FAQ
Asked by Yuriy from GERMANY | Feb. 25, 2024 11:51Reply
Online ticket vs. paper ticket / train ticket to Lhasa
Hello Travelchinaguide,

all other travel agencies for China state that after booking online, the passenger must pick up a paper ticket at the train station. Why is it different for you? Has China abolished the obligation to pick up paper tickets at the train station?

One more question: I need a train ticket from Xining to Lhasa. Tickets to Lhasa sell out very quickly. How likely are you to be able to book the ticket for me if I register it in time? If I don't get the ticket, my whole trip will collapse.

Thanks in advance for the answers
MfG Yuriy Ivanov
Answers (1)
Answered by TravelChinaGuide | Feb. 26, 2024 19:19

Hi Yuriy,

1. Yes, collecting paper tickets are not necessary now and foreign passengers can board the train directly according to their passports that booked tickets.

2. We will try our best to scramble for tickets for you once they are issued. However, the result can not be guaranteed 100%. If we failed, you will get the refund.
Asked by Sandra from NETHERLAND | Feb. 17, 2024 09:44Reply
Copy of passport needed?
Is it necessary to upload a copy of my passport to buy train tickets? Or do I only need to give passport numbers, names etc?
Answers (1)
Answered by Harry | Feb. 19, 2024 01:35

It is optional to offer a copy but make sure you can provide accurate information.
Asked by Juli from IRELAND | Feb. 16, 2024 01:05Reply
Baggage limitations for busness class
Hello, what is the baggage allowance for business class train ticket holders? And is there an option to by additional baggage?
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia | Feb. 19, 2024 01:48

According to the regulations, each adult can take at most 20kg of luggage. However, the railway staff usually does not weigh the luggage and as long as you don't take prohibited items, it's very normal to take all the luggage onboard, even if it's overweight.
Asked by Juli from IRELAND | Feb. 16, 2024 00:59Reply
e ticket vs paper ticket
Hi, is there no longer need to pick up a paper ticket? Most of other selling engines are stating that paper ticked is a must to get to the train? thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Maria | Feb. 19, 2024 00:17

No, there is no need to pick up paper tickets anymore.
Asked by Caroline from UK | Jan. 06, 2024 04:21Reply
How do I know if my ticket is issued
When I check my ticket status online it says it is approved and I have a carriage and seat number. Does this mean my ticket has been issued?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily | Jan. 08, 2024 22:18

Yes, it does mean your ticket has been issued.
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