In November 2019, China Railway introduced e-ticket to replace printed tickets with electronic tickets on bullet/high-speed trains. All trains operated by China Railway have fully transitioned to e-tickets since 2022, providing passengers with a more convenient and eco-friendly option. As a result, paper printed tickets will no longer be available in the future.
The advantages of electronic train tickets
What's the advantages of electronic train tickets? Why they can replace paper printed tickets? Let's have a look.
- Saving TimeIn the past, passengers had to spend time to queue up in a line to collect paper printed ticket. Especially during the holidays, passengers have to spend 15 to 30 minutes to collect paper printed tickets, or even more time. Therefore, passengers have to arrive at railway stations at least 1.5 to 2 hours before departure. After E-tickets come out, it shortens the time because passengers don't have to collect paper printed tickets any more.
- Reducing ContactAfter we have electronic tickets, it improves the efficiency when we enter the station and also reduce contact with other passengers. During epidemic of Covid-19 and many passengers are worried about cross infection in public. Now passengers no longer collect paper tickets at window or at automatic machine. They just need to download or save the screenshots of their tickets information in their mobile phones after they book a E-tickets online. E-tickets omit some steps and improve the efficiency of taking a train. Therefore, E-tickets not only saves time, but also give us a sense of security.
Can Foreigners use E-tickets on China trains?
YES! E-tickets service has covered all trains within China now. When travel to China, as the most convenient and economical transportation, most of foreign visitors choose trains in priority. It was inconvenient for foreign visitors to collect paper tickets at train stations or it was even more difficult if they lost their tickets. Now E-tickets solve this problem perfectly! Foreign passengers can use a passport or valid ID certificate to check in their trains at the manual ticket check-in gate, with no need to collect a paper ticket.
1. How to read a E-ticket?
If you buy the train tickets at railway station or local tickets offices, you will receive a China Railway Tickets Notice. Here is a introduction of Ticket Notice. Let's have a look of it.
2. How to use a E-ticket?
After we book a E-ticket, how to use a Chinese train E-ticket? Read more to learn how to use it~
- Book your E-ticket After your electronic tickets are issued, you will receive a ticket number. However, ticket number is unnecessary when you board the train. You just need to remember your train, coach and seat numbers. Tips: just save a screenshot of your train information~
- Check in the Train On the departure day, enter the station and go to the waiting hall, following the direction boards. When it's time for boarding the train, prepare your passport or valid ID certificate and scanning them at ticket-check machines. If ticket-check machine is unavailable, just go through manual channel.
- Check out After you arrive at your destinations, get off the train and check out the train station at exit gate by scanning your passports or valid ID certificate again.On the departure day, enter the station and go to the waiting hall, following the direction boards. When it's time for boarding the train, prepare your passport or valid ID certificate and scanning them at ticket-check machines. If ticket-check machine is unavailable, just go through manual channel.
How to book Electronic train tickets?
Foreign visitors can book E-tickets by passports; passengers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, should use Travel Permit. During the epidemic of Covid-19, China train tickets are issued 15 days before departure. Tips: some of tickets can be only issued 2 or 3 days before departure.
1. Book E-tickets with Agencies like China Highlights.
Although electronic tickets are only issued 15 days before departure or even less, we still recommend you book your train tickets as early as possible, especially during Chinese public holidays. China Highlights accepts your booking orders no matter how early it is. We will be ready to book your train tickets once they are open to sale. Therefore, you don't have to worry about your train tickets and we will take care of them for you.
2. Buy E-tickets at Train Station/local offices/12306.com
If you would like book the train tickets yourselves, you could book at local offices/train stations or on 12306.com. However, please be sure you book it on time. Some popular tickets will be sold out within several seconds once they're for sale. Especially during Chinese public holidays, DO NOT miss the opening dates.