Home China TrainsChina 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.

Reservation

  • 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. 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 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 form/link will be sent to the email address provided. 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 collection will be advised 3-20 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 20 days later, we have to wait till the selling date to purchase the ticket.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Price

  • The ticket price online is a net price, which is not including service fee (often from $5 to $15, train to and from Lhasa can be higher), credit card processing fee, delivery fee.
  • Our quotation is based on the updated exchange rate between US Dollar and CN Yuan.
  • 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

  • Payment is available via PayPal, credit card payment center or Visa/Master Card by fax authorization.
  • If the purchaser is not a passenger, a clear scan copy of the purchaser's passport is required at the time of 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.
  • 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.
  • Payments are 100% refundable if we are unable to supply the required tickets.

Ticket Delivery

  • After the issue of the ticket, China Highlights will email you promptly the detail information of the ticket and other useful information, such as how to collect the ticket at the train station and so on.
  • If your booking(s) is less than 8 days before the travel date, we suggest that you collect your paper tickets at the railway station yourself. You can collect your paper ticket(s) at any ticket window of any railway station in any city in China with your passport(s) and the E-ticket number we sent you by email.
  • If you choose the delivery service, the tickets can be sent to your hotel within China.
  • If you appointed other address within China, please provide the address in Chinese as far as possible to make sure we send the tickets to the correct address. And postmen in China can’t speak English, please make sure the addressee can communicant in Chinese and he/she is easily contacted by the phone number your provided.
  • The tickets will be delivered by express courier at the nominated time (1-4 days processing time is required) to the nominated hotel provided. Please advise room number if possible. If a hotel name is not available, customer can get paper ticket at any ticket window of the railway station. Or tickets can be delivered to the office of our local agent for pick up by the customer. We’ll provide the address and phone number via email.
  • 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 (some hotels might refused to receive and keep express for guests, especially for the guests with no reservation, or who are not check in).

Changes to the Booking Order

  • All changes must be sent by email (at least 48 hours before departure). If you apply changes by phone, an email 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.
  • Passengers who chose collecting tickets at train station want to choose the delivery service afterward, are required to tell us at least 8 days in advance before the departure date of the train and pay the delivery fee. If not, it is not acceptable.
  • Passengers who chose the delivery service can’t collect train tickets at railway station themselves after the issue of the ticket.
  • Change request after the issue of the ticket (1) 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. (2) Chose collecting tickets at train station: no further service fee for China Highlights. A change fee will be charged by China Rail (5%-20%). (3) Chose the delivery service (the tickets not delivered): further service fee (USD 10 per ticket) for China Highlights and change fee for China Rail (5%-20%) will be charged. (4) Chose the delivery service (the tickets delivered): The change request is not accepted by China Highlights. The ticket holder must go to any train station in person with ID (passport) to change the date of your ticket, at least 3 hours before the departure time. Change service is not available within one hour before the departure time of the train.

Cancellation Refunds

  • All cancellations must be sent by email (at least 48 hours before departure). If you apply cancellations by phone, an email of your cancellation will be required to send afterward.
  • Bookings cancelled before payment, no cancelation fee.
  • Bookings cancelled before the issue of the ticket, payments are 100% refundable.
  • Bookings cancelled after the issue of the ticket (1) Chose collecting tickets at train station: China Highlights will refund you the net price of the ticket minus the cancellation fee according to the policy of China Rail. The service fee is not refundable. (2) Chose the delivery service (the tickets not delivered): the cancellation fee is 50% of the ticket par value; the service charge is not refundable. (3) Chose the delivery service (the tickets delivered): Bookings cancelled after the issue of the ticket (the paper ticket has been collected) must be done by the ticket holder with ID (passport), at any train station, at least 3 hours before the departure time. Cancellation is not accepted after the departure of the train. You will be responsible for any damages or losses occurred in the situation. Make cancellation attracts a cancellation fee. China Rail will refund the money to the account of our company within 3 working days after the cancellation and the staff will give you a refund receipt. Please send the copy of the refund receipt to us by email, and we will refund the money to your account within a working day after we get the email.

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.

Luggage

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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