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China Train Travel FAQs

You may encounter questions when buying train tickets or during your train journey in China. Those frequently asked questions and answers regarding train tickets booking and train travel in China may help you with that.

Train Ticket Booking

How many days in advance can I book international train tickets?

Answer: International train tickets (include tickets to and from Hong Kong) released 30 days before departure. But you can book international tickets with China Highlights more than 30 days ahead.

Please book international tickets with us at least 8 days in advance, so that we have enough time to buy and deliver tickets for you.

Can I get off before the destination station on the ticket?

Answer: Yes, you can get off at any station before the destination on your ticket. In fact, sometimes the China Railways only releases tickets to terminal stations or main stations. Thus when tickets to an intermediate station sold out, we need to buy ticket to a further station or terminal station if you need to be on the same train.

For example, when tickets sold out for Datong – Pingyao section, there are always availabilities for Datong – Linfen section (Linfen is the next stop on the same train). You can still get off at Pingyao Station. Of course the ticket price of Datong – Linfen section is more expensive than Datong – Pingyao section.

We are a couple. Can we get a whole soft-sleeper compartment?

Answer: If you’d like to get a whole private soft-sleeper compartment, you can buy 4 soft-sleeper tickets, but this will cost twice as much as 2 tickets! If you wish to arrange this, please contact your travel advisor.

Can you buy tickets on international train from Urumqi to Almaty/Astana?

Answer: Yes, we can buy train tickets on international train from Urumqi to Almaty/Astana. Please search the train schedule and make a booking at China Highlights train ticket booking.

Please note: there is no children's tickets on this train. Children need to pay full ticket fare as adults.

Can I book e-tickets for trains in China?

Answer: Currently, foreign passengers with passports have to use paper tickets for boarding. In 2019, e-tickets will gradually replace paper tickets for train travel. Passengers can use ID documents or a special code for boarding instead of picking up paper tickets.

Collect Tickets

What do I need to collect train tickets?

Answer: After you make the booking online, we will send a pick up number to you via email along with screen shots with train numbers, travel date, pick up number(s), passengers’ names and passport numbers. Just show the pick up number and all the passengers’ original passports for ticket collection at a train station.

Is the ticket counter at the train station open 24 hours a day?

Answer: Most train stations’ ticket counters are open 24 hours a day. Ticket counters at high-speed railway stations, however, such as Beijing South (Beijing Nan), Shanghai Hongqiao and Xi’an North (Xi’an Bei), are open only from 5:30 to 22:00 hrs.

Is it difficult to pick up tickets at the station?

Answer: After you book train tickets with China Highlights, our travel advisor will send you detailed bilingual instructions regarding how to collect tickets at the station. It will not be a problem to collect tickets all by yourself, even if you don’t speak any Chinese. But please arrive at the station in plenty of time, as stations can be very crowded.

Can I collect my ticket from an automatic ticket machine?

Answer: The automatic ticket machines can only accept Chinese citizens’ ID cards. Passengers who bought tickets using their passports can only collect the tickets at the ticket windows of any train station.

Can I pick up train tickets at the airport?

Answer: There are no counters for train tickets at airports. Thus in Mainland China, train tickets can only be collected at train stations.

Can I pick up international train tickets at the station?

Answer: International train tickets (include tickets to and from Hong Kong) can only be bought off-line. Thus we can only deliver the original tickets to your hotel or personal address in China.

Can I collect tickets at train stations Hong Kong?

Answer: Tickets cannot be collected at train stations in Hong Kong and can only be collected at train stations in Mainland China.

Ticket delivery

Can tickets be delivered to our country from China?

Answer: Tickets can be delivered to your hotel or personal address in China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). But currently we are unable to deliver tickets outside of China.

What if I lose my ticket?

Answer: If you lose your domestic train ticket, the same ticket can be reissued. Please click the link for the steps to follow in order to have your ticket reissued: lost ticket tips.

Luggage on The Train

What’s the luggage allowance?

Answer: The luggage allowance is 20kg for each adult, 10kg for each child. More information about luggage allowance, please click here.

During Your Journey

How long should I leave for a connecting train?

Answer: Please leave at least 1.5 hours if you need to transfer to another train at the same train station, 4 hours if you need to take a connection train at a different station.

Please note, add 1 more hour to the transfer time above if your arrival train is an ordinary one. Since ordinary trains always delay.

What should I do if I miss my train?

Answer: If there are other trains with vacant seats available on the same day, you can go to the station’s change-tickets counter to change for a later train. If there are no such trains, then unfortunately, your ticket will be void. You’ll need to buy a new ticket.

You can only change your ticket on the same day, at the departure city specified on the ticket. The ticket for the missed train cannot be refunded.

International train tickets, however, cannot be reissued. So if you lose those, you’ll need to buy new tickets, resulting in extra expense.

Is WIFI available on a train?

Answer: WIFI is not available on most of the Chinese trains. But it is available on China’s newest type of High-speed trains: “Fuxinghao”. And Wi-Fi is available on all the high-speed trains to and from Hong Kong.