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Electronic Tickets are Already Available on All Trains in China

Written by FabioUpdated Jan. 25, 2024

As technology has advanced, paper train tickets are no longer necessary for domestic train travel in China. Upon completing the payment for train tickets, China Railway provides passengers with details of their seats and e-ticket numbers. If passengers have been verified by China Railway, they can enter the waiting hall by scanning their passport.

However, if passengers are not verified, they are required to collect paper tickets at the ticket office of their departure train station. It's important to note that for the China-Laos international train, regardless of verification status, passengers must collect paper tickets.

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.

1. Saving Time:In the past, passengers faced the inconvenience of spending time queuing up to collect paper printed tickets, particularly during holidays when the process could take 15 to 30 minutes or even more. This necessity often meant that passengers had to arrive at railway stations at least 1.5 to 2 hours before departure to account for the ticket collection process.

With the introduction of E-tickets, this time-consuming step has been eliminated. Passengers no longer need to collect paper printed tickets, leading to a significant reduction in the time spent at the railway station.

2. Impossible to Lose Your Ticket: In the era of paper tickets, passengers had to be meticulous in safeguarding their tickets, as losing them meant the inability to board a train. However, with e-tickets, this concern has been alleviated. Even if passengers forget their e-ticket number, the train staff can retrieve their seat details by simply scanning their passport.

3. Good to Environment: The reduced reliance on paper tickets means less demand for paper production, leading to a decrease in the need to cut down trees for paper manufacturing. This transition aligns with environmentally friendly practices by contributing to the conservation of forests and natural resources.

Can Foreigners use E-tickets on China trains?

Absolutely! The widespread availability of e-ticket services covering all trains within China has significantly improved the experience for foreign visitors. As trains become the preferred mode of transportation for many international travelers in China due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness, the introduction of e-tickets has addressed previous inconveniences.

For foreign passengers verified by China Railway, the process has become seamless. They can now use their passport or a valid ID certificate to check in at the manual ticket check-in gate, eliminating the need to collect a paper ticket. This not only enhances convenience but also streamlines the travel experience, making train journeys in China more accessible and hassle-free for visitors from around the world.

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.

how to read E-train ticket

2. How to use 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 with China Railway?

Foreign visitors can book E-tickets by passports; passengers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, should use Travel Permit.  China train tickets are usually issued 15 days before departure. Tips: some of tickets can be only issued 2 or 3 days before departure.

How to Book E-tickets 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.

See How to Book China Train Tickets.

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