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How to Collect a Train Ticket In China

It is unnecessary to collect China train ticket any more. 

Since June 20, 2020, there is no need for China train passengers to collect the paper tickets any more before boarding. They can use their ID certificate used for booking the e-ticket, like passport to enter the railway station, take the train and get out from the arrival station. Passengers holding China Mainland Travel Permit or Permanent Residence Permit can use automatical check channel while those holding passport need to go through the manual check channel. 

What if I want my paper ticket? 

With no ticket in hand, passengers need to bear the train number, boarding gate, carriage number and seat number in mind. If cannot, they can write down or print out the related information before departure or collect the "Trip Information Reminders" at the ticket counters of any railway station in Mainland China. "Trip Information Reminders" is actually a kind of shopping receipt indicating train number, boarding gate, carriage number, seat number, departure and arrival stations, etc. In addition to the "Trip Information Reminders", the railway staff can also print blue reimbursement voucher per passenger's special request, which looks no different from a ticket. It also includes all information about the train. Or to make it simple, you can use ticket delivery service if the booking agency offers it, who will in most cases send you the red version reimbursement voucher

What might be troublesome is that once you apply for the ticket refund or change, either the blue or red reimbursement voucher should be returned.

Last but not least, neither the receipt nor the reimbursement vouchers are ticket and can be used to take the train.  Passengers can conveniently use their ID certificate used for booking the e-ticket for boarding as mentioned above. 


How to Collect China Train "Tickets"

Overseas passengers can collect their China train "tickets", the "Trip Information Reminders" or reimbursement voucher in fact at the ticket counters of any railway stations in China any time after booking online successfully, by showing valid ID certificate like passport used for booking and pickup number. If you are going to pick up "tickets" on the day of travel, get to the station at least 1.5 hours before departure. 

 See How to Buy China Train Ticket Online  

What do I need to pick up a China train "ticket"?

Original document used for booking like passport, and "ticket" pickup number are required for collection. When picking up for others, you need to have their original documents and pickup number, too.

When can I pick up my China train "ticket"?

Ticket Counters at Beijing Railway Station
Ticket Counters at Beijing Railway Station

It can be collected any time after you receive the pickup number. 

If you book from an agency like TravelChinaGuide, do not mix the order number with pickup number. An order number just tells you have successfully put an order with the agency while pickup number indicates your "tickets" are ready to be collected. 

If you plan to collect the "ticket" on the day of travel before boarding, you’d better get to the station at least 1 hour prior to scheduled departure time, so as to leave enough time for collecting and boarding procedures. 

Where to collect a train "ticket" in China? 

Usually, "tickets" can be collected from any railway station in Mainland China. 

Office for Ticket Collection
Special Counter for "Ticket" Collection

Currently, most stations have special counters for "tickets" collection, in Chinese characters 取票窗口 or 取票专口, which save you much time. If the station does not have a special counter, go to any of the regular counters to pick up your "ticket". 

Do not use the self-service ticket machines at the stations, or ticket outlets in town, as they only accept Chinese ID card, Mainland Travel Permit of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and Chinese Permanent Residence Permit for collection. They don't print "tickets" for passengers holding overseas passport.

4 Tips on How to Collect a Train "Ticket" in China

1. If you have booked multi-trip "tickets", it’s better to collect them all at the first departure station to save time.

2. Opening time of ticket counters at railway stations: Generally, there is one or more ticket counters in railway stations open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. However, in some stations, all counters are closed at late night if there is no train arriving or departing. For instance, stations specializing in bullet trains, which usually stop running at late night, such as Beijing South Railway Station, whose ticket counters are open 06:00 - 23:00. Another kind is the relatively small and remote stations, like Jishou Railway Station close to Phoenix Ancient Town, "ticket" collection only opens 08:00 - 21:00. But there is no need to worry. The closed counter (s) will be opened 1-2 hours ahead of departure even at late night if there is a departure.

3. It’s better to print out necessary information in both Chinese and English, which might be used for collection. It will help you a lot if you speak no Chinese. 
 See Useful Chinese Phrases for Train Travel

4. If you have any questions concerning "ticket" collection at the stations, go to the information desk. Almost all stations have an information desk in conspicuous places to help passengers out. 

Once collected, it is advised to read the "ticket" carefully to see whether it is the right one by confirming the departure and arrival stations, departure date and time, and class.
 See details of Blue Magnetic SamplePink Paper Sample  

 See also:
China Train Travel - A Beginner’s Guide

- Last updated on Aug. 26, 2020 -
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