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China Rail Pass

China Rail Pass is a prepaid card which can be used to take bullet trains running on intercity high speed railways. Passengers get onboard after swiping the China Train Pass at the self-service check-in machine. Although no discount is offered when traveling with the pass, it saves the trouble of buying ticket before every trip. 

China Railway Pass comes in two types: gold and silver. Both have unlimited use if there is enough balance for the journey. There is an annual fee of CNY10 per train pass.

Applicable High Speed Train Routes


How to use

Before departure, pass holders check into the station by swiping their card at the self-service check-in machine. When they arrive at their destination, they need to swipe the card again to leave the station. At this point the ticket fare will be deducted. Gold card holders should take first class seats, and silver card holders can only take second class seats.
A Sample of China Rail Pass
A China Rail Pass

How to get the Train Pass

The pass can be purchased at designated offices of Bank of China (BOC) and ticket windows of the related railway stations. Passengers need to provide valid passport or Mainland Travel Permit. A deposit of CNY30, and a ticket fare of minimum CNY300 for the silver card and CNY500 for the gold card will be charged when first purchasing the pass. If you ask someone to buy the pass for you, both of you need to provide ID certificates.

Recharge the pass

Passengers can recharge their passes at the designated offices of BOC and ticket windows of the related railway stations. The money in a card should not exceed CNY1,000. Passengers should make sure that the balance in their pass can cover the cost from the first to last station of their route, otherwise they cannot enter the station.

Can someone else use my card?

No. Your card carries your personal information and only you can use it.

Can I print out the paper ticket after the rail journey?

Yes, you can. The paper ticket can be printed out at designated ticket windows of the related railway stations within 31 days after the trip. Each ticket can be printed out once.

How do I know my seat number if I use the pass?

Currently, passengers taking high speed trains along Beijing-Tianjin and Changchun-Hunchun Railways can get their seat numbers before boarding. They can swipe their pass on a self-service queuing machine and get a slip which has departure date and time, train number, seat number, and the number of the pass. With both the pass and the slip, you can successfully check in. You should cancel the seat at a designated ticket window within 30 minutes after the departure time if you did not get onboard.
Station  Locations of self-service queuing machine  Locations of seat cancellation windows
Beijing South Station Beside the escalators near North and South Entrances on 1F; near the entrance to No.8 Entrance Hall on -1F; near the southwest escalator in the south of -1F; in No.2 and No.3 ticket offices on 2F.  Ticket window no. 32 and 33
Tianjin Station  Between the ticket office and entrance on the south square; near the entrance on north square; opposite the ticket office on -1F in north station building. Ticket window no. 1 on south square; ticket window no. 62 on -1F of north square.
Tianjin West Station Near A2, A3, B2, B3, A6, A7, B6 and B7 check-in gates. Ticket window no. 2.
Wuqing Station  Inside ticket office. Ticket window no. 4.
Tanggu Station Beside No.7 ticket window in ticket office. Ticket window no. 1.
Changchun Station  Inside east and west waiting halls on 2F. Ticket window no. 11 and 13 on south ticket office.
Changchun West Station At the entrance. Ticket window no. 1.
Jilin Station  Beside the escalators near east and west entrances. Ticket window no. 1 inside east ticket office; ticket window no. 1 inside west ticket office.

 Note: Cancellation should be done within 30 minutes after train departure at the station where you get the seat number but haven’t got onboard.

At present, other routes do not have the self-service queuing machines, so passengers will not know which seat to take until they get into the carriage. Usually, some seats are reserved for pass holders and they can sit on any seat in the reservation zone. If all the reserved seats are taken, pass holders can take other seats with the permission of the conductors. Pass holders can only stand in the carriage if all seats are occupied.

Self-service Check-in Machine
Self-service Check-in Machine
Bullet Trains in Tianjin Railway Station
Bullet Trains in Tianjin Railway Station

Change, refund or loss of the pass

Passengers can have their China Rail Pass changed or refunded at the designated ticket windows in railway stations. A service fee of CNY20 is charged for refunding the pass. If you lose the pass, you can buy a new card, but cannot redeem the balance on the lost card. A service fee of CNY10 is charged for a new card.

Major Designated Ticket Windows

Beijing – Tianjin Line No.32 and 33 windows in No. 3 Ticket Hall of Beijing South Station;
No.2 ticket window in south station building and No.15 ticket window underground the north square of Tianjin Station;
No.1 in Tianjin West Station
Shanghai – Nanjing/ Hangzhou Line No. 20 ticket window in south square of Shanghai Railway Station;
No. 66 ticket window in Shanghai Hongqiao Station;
Self-service ticket hall in north square of Suzhou Railway Station;
No. 0 and 1 ticket windows in south ticket hall and No. 5 ticket window in north ticket hall of Hangzhou Railway Station
No. 30 ticket window in south ticket hall and No. 5 ticket window in north ticket hall of Nanjing Railway Station
Guangzhou - Zhuhai Line No. 2, 68 and 87 ticket windows in Guangzhou South Station;
No. 7 and 8 ticket windows in Zhuhai Station
Fuzhou - Xiamen Line No. 1 and 2 ticket windows in Fuzhou Station;
No.1 and 6 ticket windows in Fuzhou South Station;
No. 1 and 9 ticket windows in Xiamen North Station;
No. 1 and 6 ticket windows in Xiamen Station
Beihai - Nanning - Guilin Line No. 6 ticket window in Beihai Station;
No. 23 ticket window in Nanning Station;
No. 13 and 27 ticket windows in Nanning East Station;
No. 1 ticket window in Guilin Station;
No. 8 ticket window in Guilin North Station
Chengdu - Mianyang - Leshan Line No. 3 and 61 ticket windows in Chengdu East Station;
No. 12 ticket window in Chengdu South Station;
No. 20 ticket window in Mianyang Station;
No. 6 ticket window in Leshan Station 
Xi'an - Pingyao - Taiyuan Line No. 8 and 15 ticket windows in Taiyuan South Station;
No. 11 and 16 ticket windows in Xi'an North Station
Haikou – Sanya Circle Line No.1 ticket window in Haikou Station;
No. 4 and 5 ticket windows in Haikou East Station;
No. 9 and 10 ticket windows in Sanya Railway Station



Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Commuter Pass

The Commuter Pass, a kind of China rail pass, is only available for passengers traveling along the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway and its extension line. There are two types: Gold Pass for first class seats and Silver Pass for second class seats. Different from the regular China rail pass, it offers discounts. It can only be purchased at designated ticket windows. This pass can also only be used by the holder. The Commuter Pass is valid for one year from its issue date. The balance will be frozen after the pass expires, so you need to use it up prior to the expiry date.

Type  Price (CNY) Allowed Trip Numbers  Discount
Golden Pass  1,240 20  5%
3,510 60 10%
4,995 90 15%
Silver Pass  1,030 20 5%
2,940 60 10%
4,600 100 15%


Designated Ticket Windows

Beijing South Station: No. 32 and No. 33 ticket windows in No. 3 Ticket Office; No. 27, No. 31 and No 78 ticket windows
Tianjin Station: No.2 ticket window of the ticket office in south terminal building; No. 15 ticket window of -1F on north square; No. 25, No. 26, No. 29 and No. 61 ticket windows
Wuqing Station: No. 1 and No. 4 ticket windows
Tanggu Station: No. 1 and No. 7 ticket windows
Yujiapu Station: No. 16 and No. 21 ticket windows

- Last updated on May. 22, 2024 -
Questions & Answers on China Rail Pass
Asked by Ree from AUSTRALIA | May. 19, 2024 13:31Reply
Advice for travelling multi states in 14 days
Hi all,

Visiting China for 2 weeks (last week of Oct to first week of November). Landing in Hongkong and flying out from Beijing.
Planning to visit Hongkong, Hunan (Zhangjiajie mainly), Wangxian valley, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Beijing.
Can anyone help me to understand if bullet train can go to all these states. I tried looking online but very confusing.
If yes, should I get a train pass? Only planning to travel by bullet train (wants to experience it for the first time :-). Happy to get one or two air ticket (interstates) if required.
Any help would be very appreciated.

Answers (1)
Answered by Marcy | May. 22, 2024 01:11

I should say that there is no train pass for your route. The nearest high speed train stations to these attractions or cities:
Zhangjiajie: Zhangjiajie West Railway Station
Wangxian Valley: Shangrao Railway Station (you can take a direct bus there to the valley)
Shanghai: Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station (closest station to famous attractions)
Xi'an: Xi'an North Railway Station
Beijing: Beijing West Railway Station (closest station to Forbidden City and the city center)

1. For HK to Zhangjiajie, there is no direct high speed train and you can make a transfer in Changsha.
2. Zhangjiajie - Shangrao: high speed train G1367 is in service.
3. The following routes from Shangrao to Shanghai, Shanghai to Xi'an and Xi'an to Beijing can all be traveled by direct high speed train.

But for the long-distance trip like Shanghai to Xi'an and xi'an to Beijing, the flight ticket price is sometimes cheaper than the high speed train ticket. You can search for the real-time train schedule and ticket price on this website, make a comparasion and then decide which to take.
Asked by Ricardo from VARGAS | Feb. 20, 2024 15:40Reply
Many Train travel Itinerary Shanghai - Nanjing - Xi´an - Chengdu- Chongqing - Zhangjiajie - Shanghai
Is it possible to only travel by train to this places ?
Itinerary Shanghai - Nanjing - Xi´an - Chengdu- Chongqing - Zhangjiajie - Shanghai
Meaning Shanghai to Najning
Nanjing to Xi´an , etc..
Is it possible to buy the tickets from another country in advance?
Is it possible to buy the Gold/ Silver China Rail pass (20 trips) and use it for those trips?
Answers (1)
Answered by Harry | Feb. 20, 2024 17:40

Yes, it is possible as trains are available among these cities. You can book those train tickets with TravelChinaGuide in advance. The rail pass can only be used in certain routes and the trains you mentioned are not applicable to that.
Asked by John Yiu from CANADA | Feb. 16, 2024 11:40Reply
Can I buy China train pass in Canada
Can I buy China train pass in Canada?
Answers (1)
Answered by James | Feb. 19, 2024 01:27

At present, it can only be purchased in China.
Asked by Ashley from UNITED STATES | Feb. 13, 2024 09:51Reply
can i use the china rail pass to travel from beijing to wenzhou?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenny | Feb. 18, 2024 23:11

High speed trains are available from Beijing South to Wenzhou South. The duration is around 6.5-9 hours and a second class seat costs CNY 760-820.
Asked by Martín Dennis Molinary from PUERTO RICO USA | Jan. 30, 2024 18:44Reply
Can I fly Hongkong to Xi'an, use the 144-day visa exemption, then fly Xi'an to Macau?
Answers (1)
Answered by David | Jan. 30, 2024 19:11

If you are American passport holder, it is okay.
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