Home China Trains China Train Ticket Booking Policy

China Train Ticket Booking Policy

Please read the following Booking Procedures and Policies carefully. Placing a booking order implies that our procedure and policies have been read and accepted.

Many tourists would like to use China’s vast and cheap rail network, however obtaining train tickets is not an easy process (long queues, language problems, etc.). China Highlights makes train ticket on-line booking available to you to save you time, hassle and money.


  • Please make sure the passengers’ information you fill in the booking form are exactly the same as what they appear on the passports, no abbreviation of any part of passengers’ names, otherwise you can’t get tickets at the railway station. You will be responsible for any damages or losses occurred in the situation.
  • Clear passport scan copy for all passenger(s) is required when filling the order form online. We always help DOUBLE CHECK the passengers’ information. See how? (+)The passports used for booking train tickets should be the same used for collecting train tickets and boarding the train, otherwise you can’t get tickets at the train station or board the train. You will be responsible for any damages or losses occurred in the situation.
  • Submit the booking order and pay online. Our travel advisor will respond to you within 12 working hours. No contract between China Highlights and the purchaser shall come into existence until China Highlights issues a formal confirmation by email.
  • A payment link will be sent to the email address provided later if you miss the instant payment online. Full payment for all tickets is required prior to the issue of the tickets.
  • According to the ministry of China Railways’ policy, the availability of tickets for selling will be advised 60 days before the travel date. (The selling period for train tickets often changes. The China Railways has total control of it. China Highlights will update the days in real time). If ticket is in 60 days later, we will put it in the priority list once the tickets are released.
  • Please provide train alternatives, which help us act promptly and prevent any loss for you. There is a possibility that your chosen train can go unavailable. Situations that can cause unavailability include: tickets are sold out before you finish payment; limited number of same-class railway routes in operation on the very date you chose; China Rail’s adjustment on routes and tickets. Tickets can be sold out fast while we wait for your reply.  
  • China Highlights has decisional rights of when to issue (or deliver) your tickets.
  • It is advisable to avoid train travel during peak times, including Chinese New Year (2 weeks in January/February) New Year’s Day (January 1st-3rd), Labor Day (May 1st-3rd) and National Day (October 1st-7th), during which the tickets are often sold out.
  • The train info list on our website is for your reference only. Please refer to the ticket info issued by the railway authorities as the final confirmation. China Highlights is not responsible for schedule changes by China Rail.
  • Issuing of tickets is under the total control of China Rail. China Highlights will purchase tickets as soon as possible, but has no influence over the release of tickets. We will do our best to buy train tickets, but can’t 100% guarantee it.


  • The ticket total price includes net price, service fee, credit card processing fee, and the delivery fee (it depends on your requirement).
  • The service fee is varies from $5 to $15, which depends on the different net price. Train to and from Lhasa can be higher, because it’s always in a shortage and very difficult to purchase.
  • Our quotation is based on the updated exchange rate between US Dollar and CN Yuan.
  • Our sleeper train ticket price is quoted based on the lower berth, but tickets are issued stochastically in China. Due to the very slight price differences among upper, middle and lower berths, we will take the benefits no matter which berth we issue finally.
  • There is no further fee if you collect your ticket at the DEPARTURE station shown on your ticket. RMB 5 will be charged at the ticket counter at other stations. RETURN TICKETS ARE TREATED SEPARATELY. E.g. if you have booked Beijing–Harbin and Harbin–Beijing tickets, and you collect them all at Beijing, you will be charged 5 yuan each for the Harbin–Beijing tickets, but if you pick up the return leg tickets separately in Harbin you will avoid the charge.


  • Payment is available via PayPal, Skrill, Visa/Master Card by authorization way.
  • China Highlights require the payment paid by one of the passengers. If the purchaser is not a passenger, we’ll require other document to verify the payment.
  • If payment is made by credit card authorization way, China Highlights will draw Chinese currency (CNY) from your credit card. The credit card company or bank will convert this amount to the currency that is normally shown on your credit card. This procedure may result in a higher amount being charged than quoted by China Highlights. These additional fees are not the responsibility of China Highlights and are caused by additional fees charged by the credit card company/bank or exchange rate variation.
  • The transfer fee of 3% charged by PayPal will be added onto the total price.
  • Full payments are 100% refundable if we are unable to supply the required tickets.

Ticket Collection and Delivery

  • After the issue of the ticket, China Highlights will email you promptly the detail information of the ticket and a bilingual instruction, such as how to collect the ticket at the train station and tips. You can collect paper ticket(s) at any railway station in China continent with passengers’ original passport(s) and the E-ticket number displayed in the email.
  • If you choose the delivery service, the tickets can be sent to your hotel or appointed address within China. China Highlights cooperate with the China’s best Express Company only, which is safer and more efficient for our customers.
  • Please note some hotels might refused to receive and keep express for guests, especially for the guests with no reservation, or who are not check in.
  • If you appointed a personal address within China, please provide the address in Chinese as soon as possible to make sure we send the tickets to the correct address. Please make sure the addressee can communicant in Chinese and he/she is easily contacted in day time (9am to 6pm), the postmen in China speaks Chinese and he will call before sending.
  • We’ll collect the tickets on behalf of the passenger who chose the delivery service. The passenger will not allow recollecting train tickets at railway station.
  • China Highlights is not responsible for non-receipt of tickets caused by a wrong delivery address, no/incorrect receiver's name, or unconfirmed check-in date, provided by purchasers/passengers and rejection from the receiver. Any relevant loss is on the customer's side.
  • Special note for those who need ticket delivery service: There are literally millions of ticket clerks in China. They went through trainings and work under China Rail and yet sometimes they issue tickets in different ways. If you find your issued tickets is in one of these following conditions, here’s absolutely no worries or no need for ticket cancellation: names not in full spellings; no space between given name and family name; the last numbers of passport are marked with *; given name and family name in opposite order (see the pictures of example). Such paper tickets are accepted by China Rail and you can board the train without any trouble.

    Example: Passport numbers are marked with *


  • All changes must be sent by email at least 24 hours before departure time. If you apply changes by phone, an email/message of your changes will be required to send afterward.
  • Change request before payment, no change fee.
  • Change request before the issue of the ticket, no change fee.
  • Change request after the issue of the ticket:
    (1) Chose collecting tickets at train station: no further service fee for China Highlights. A change fee will be charged by China Rail (5%-20%).
    (2) Chose the delivery service (the tickets are not delivered): further service fee (USD 10 per ticket) for China Highlights and change fee for China Rail (5%-20%) will be charged.
    (3) The change request is not accepted if the tickets are delivered already. The passenger is required to go to the train station in person with original passport and paper tickets to make change, at least 3 hours before the train departure time. Change service is not available within one hour before the departure time of the train.
    (4) The change to the delivery address is not acceptable. You will be responsible for any damages or losses for non-receipt of tickets caused by the change of the delivery address.
  • Passengers who chose collecting tickets at train station want to choose the delivery service afterward, are required to tell us at least 7 days in advance before the departure date of the train.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • We understand your China travel plans may change. Getting your refund should be just as easy as booking; that is also a part of our hassle-free services. Regardless ticket-collecting options, here’s a quick look of cases with ABSOLUTE NO CANCELLATION FEE:
    1. Cancellation made before payment
    2. Cancellation made before ticket is issued
    3. Cancel 24-48 hours before departure (for tickets are not collected, China Rail will charge 20% of the ticket price)
  • When to request a cancellation

  • Please send us a request at least  24-48 hours prior to the departure time that is printed on your train ticket. Refund amount will be depended on when you make the cancellation. We don’t process any cancellation after the train’s departed.
  • How to request a cancellation

  • You shall  send an email  to your own travel advisor requesting for a cancellation. Oral notification by phone is ok when you are nowhere near a computer. However, we won’t do anything until your email of confirmation for cancellation is in our mailbox later on.
  • Collecting ticket by yourself

  • Cancel 24 hours before you collect  will cause no cancellation fee. Send us an email and the refund will be back in your bank account with 1 working day. Please note China Rail will ask for a 20% of the ticket price as a return ticket fee. We will withhold this amount on China Rail’s behalf.
  • Cancel after you collect the ticket; this will require cooperation on your side. Get to any train station or ticket office, holding your paper tickets. Show your passport to the counter clerk at a train station and ask for a cancellation. The clerk will return you a receipt, which shall be sent back to us. We will refund you the exact same amount in accordance with the receipt. The refund will return to you within 24 working hours after we receive the receipt.
  • For ticket delivery

  • Your cancellation shall be made at least 48 hours prior the departure time. The departure time is printed on the ticket. 20% of the ticket net price will be transferred to China Rail, the service fee is non refundable , the delivery fee can be refunded.
  • When the parcel is on the way to you or just got to you , this is almost the same case with “Cancel after you collect the ticket”. However, please understand the delivery fee and service fee are not refundable.

Keep loose at the minimum

  • It will be frustrating to have missed the train, any way to save the day? The train station will help you change to a later train of that day. This policy only applies to travelers who hold C, G, and D-train tickets. It is a one-time and free-of-charge action and note that it shall be done within 2 hours after the train which you were supposed to be on departed. If you are holding Z, T, K, L or no letter-train tickets, then, sorry, the tickets have gone void and you will have to repurchase.
  • Whatever your case maybe, if it is none of the above, please contact your travel advisor.

Checking In and Checking Out

  • Passengers should arrive at the train station 60 minutes before departure and check in with valid ID and the paper ticket together. If you need to collect your paper tickets, you’d better go to the railway station 2-3 hours before departure, especially during the public holidays and weekends, we suggest you get your paper ticket(s) one day before.
  • Ticket widows in most train stations open 7/24.
  • After the train departs, a train attendant will walk through the carriages to collect tickets. The attendant will give each passenger a plastic card. Please keep the card safe. Passengers are required to present the card about half an hour before reaching the destination, when the ticket will be returned.

  • Retain the ticket as tickets are checked before exiting the train station.
  • Read more on How to Board a Train in China.


Baggage space is limited and must be stored in the sitting/sleeping compartment along with the other passenger’s luggage. It is wise to travel with limited baggage, which should not be left unattended.

Most stations have a considerable number of stairs to climb to reach the platforms. Bags have to be carried up and down these stairs. Most stairs have a steep ramp so that wheeled bags can be dragged up as you walk up the stairs. The ramps are usually narrow and inconvenient to use.

Some stations have porters who will carry luggage for 5-10 yuan per piece of luggage. Follow them closely and keep your eyes on your luggage.

Free Carry-on Luggage

  • Ordinary passengers: 20 kg (44 pounds)
  • Children with a half-price ticket ( 1.2m-1.5m) and no ticket (under 1.2 m) : 10 kg (22 pounds)
  • The total length of each item cannot exceed 160 cm, unless rod-shaped.
  • Note: The above limitation is not applicable to wheelchairs, which can be brought onto the train for free.

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