Everything about China High Speed Rail Tickets


Traveling by High Speed Train around China is not only an easy and comfortable way to get your destination, but also a special and magical travel style to view what life is like out of major cities around China. However, it may not easy for you to get a ticket if you cannot speak Chinese and don’t know Chinese ticket policy. Don’t worry, the below details will tell you everything about China High Speed Train tickets.

Real-Name Ticket Policy – Available Identity Documents

From January 1, 2012, the Real-Name Ticket Policy applies to all trains in China, aim to relieve the difficulty in buying tickets and effectively stop scalpers who profit a lot in trading rail tickets especially during the Spring Festival travel rush every year. Original valid identity documents become a MUST for China High Speed Train tickets booking, collecting, altering and canceling.

It is allowed to buy one ticket per valid Identity document. Your Identity document number will be printed on the ticket. When boarding the train, you should present your train ticket and your valid Identity document together to the steward.

Identity Documents that are banded for a “Real-name Train Ticket”

● Chinese Citizen ID card

● Passport

● Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents (or called Home-return Permit)

● Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents

● Permit for Mainland Residents to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

● Residence Permit for Foreigners

● Diplomat Certificate, etc.

When Do Reservations Open? – Pre-sale Period

Pre-sale period about train tickets refers to the days prior to the train departure. Since December 30, 2016, the train tickets pre-sale (include high speed train tickets) period in China had be gradually returned to 30 days from previous 60 days prior online or through phone, while the pre-sale period at train stations and Automatic Ticket Machines will be 28 days ahead of departure. More trains will be arranged during the major festival of China, and the pre-sale period of those trains is about 25 days.

How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets

Both online and offline ways are available for China High Speed Train tickets booking. You can book through official website 12306.cn, travel agencies, railway stations, designed ticket outlets and telephone. 12306.cn and the hotline 95105105 are two official ticket booking ways in China, offer the most accurate train ticket information. But you may get little help from that for they are all in Chinese service.

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Check more about How to Book Hong Kong China High Speed Rail Tickets

How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets

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How to Collect China High Speed Train Tickets

It is available to collect your train ticket at any working train stations in mainland China. No service fee is needed whether you collect at the departure station or not. If you have booked China train tickets before, you can also collect at ticket outlets around mainland China, with an additional service fee about CNY 5 per ticket required. But if you have booked via phone, you must to collect your tickets at train station, no other selection available. China Discovery sincerely recommends you to collect your train tickets in advance, especially during Spring Festival, National Day and other big Chinese festivals. If you want to collect the train ticket on the departure day, it is suggested to get to the train at least 2 hours in advance. Check more about How to Collect China High Speed Train Tickets

How to Collect China High Speed Train Tickets

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How to Read China High Speed Train Tickets

There are several types of China train tickets, while the main 2 types are the tickets printed in blue and red. The information including departure station and time are shown in Chinese (include Pinyin) and number, no English available. For you are not allowed to write anything on China Train tickets, you’d better learn how to read train tickets in advance.

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How to Read China High Speed Train Tickets

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How to Alter China High Speed Train Tickets

A ticket can be changed one time at appointed counters at railway stations to an earlier or a later train, which allows extra passenger capacity. Besides having the tickets left, the train you want to change to should also be within the pre-sale period. For the price difference between the previous and the changed tickets, the office staff will return any overcharge and demand payment of any shortage. But, connecting and round trip tickets are not allowed to be changed.

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How to Alter China High Speed Train Tickets

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How to Cancel China High Speed Train Tickets

It is available to cancel the ticket before the scheduled departure times if you unable to take the planed train, except the changed tickets after missing. Cancellation fee will be charged according to the time left before the train departure, and you can’t get full refund unless you cancel the ticket 15 days before the departure time. All tickets can be cancelled at designated windows of train station, while some online booked tickets can be cancelled online.

Check more about China High Speed Train Ticket Cancellation - Documents, Policy & Charges

How to Cancel China High Speed Train Tickets

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China Bullet Train Ticket Price

The price of China High Speed Trains is according to the seat class you choose. The price of the same seat class is the same while there will be difference between different trains.

When traveling by train in China you should be aware that there are discounts for kids traveling with you. Children are required to be accompanied by adults on the train. Children between 1.2m and 1.5m need to buy child ticket while those under 1.2m are admitted for free. To date, most of China trains still keep a fixed fare, while it is said that floating price policy will gradually adapted to use during the second half of year 2018.

How to Cancel China High Speed Train Tickets

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The Most Frequently Asked Questions about China Train Tickets - Q&A

● Q: What to do if I lost my passport while I still want to buy a China High Speed Train Ticket?

  A: You should hold the certificate issued by the local embassy and consulate.

● Q: What to Do If I Lost My Tickets Before enter the train station?

  A: The procedure may be a little complex. You should buy a replacement first and show it to the railway attendant when you get onboard. They will provide you a voucher, and you can get the full refund of the replacement at the arrival railway station, with the voucher and your identity documents equipped.

● Q: What to Do If I Lost My Tickets On the train?

  A: Ask the railway attendant for help. If they can get your booking result from their system, you can get a replace ticket marked with “车票丢失”(lost ticket) after paid the service fee(CNY 2). But if they cannot find your booking result, you should buy a replacement from them first and get a refund at your arrival train station.

● Q: Can I buy a ticket for others?

  A: Yes, but you have to take his or her original identity document (like passport).

If you have any other problems, please feel free to contact our experienced tourist advisor for help.

Other Routes to Experience D High Speed Trains

As high speed train travel are becoming much popular and recommended by large portion of visitors in China, here we also list some top high speed train routes chosen by most people during their China tour. See the routes at below and pick one to experience the great advantages of travelling by high speed train. Also, you could check all high speed train routes to select which section to experience.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Jean's family from France visited Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing in September 2019

6 Days Classic Beijing Xian High-speed Train Tour (Most Valuable)

Beijing / Xian

 Jack and Emily from UK visited Greeting Pine, Yellow Mountain in October, 2019

9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai / Suzhou / Hangzhou / Huangshan

The Forbidden City Overall View from Jingshan Park

7 Days Shanghai Suzhou Beijing Contrast Tour by High Speed Train

Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Beijing

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

From Bejing airport to Harbin Zhongyang Street
1) We will be flying to Bejing, eta 2 am. We plan to use "gaotie" to Harbin. What is the fastest/convenient way to Harbin from the capital airport? What are the recommendated train station for departure and arrival. Plan to stay around Zhongyang Street.

Thank you
2018-10-03 15:27
Dear Helen,

Thanks for your question. For your convenience, you are suggested to use Beijing Railway Station and Harbin Railway Station as departure and arrival railway stations. From Terminal 3 of Beijing Railway Station, there are available airport shuttle buses (Beijing Railway Station Line) run to Beijing Railway Station directly which takes about 1.5hours. Harbin Railway Station is about 3km away from Zhongyang Street, and there are many buses able to take you to transfer between them easily, like No. 101, 64, 98, 118, 29, 85, etc. You can get to Zhongyang Street within 30 minutes usually.

The earliest high speed train (gaotie) D29 to from Beijing Railway Station to Harbin Railway Station departs at 06:34 and arrives at 14:59.

Wish you a nice trip in Harbin!
buying a fast train ticket
I will arrive at Xiemen railway station. Can I buy a fast train ticket there to zhengzhou east or wuhan or do I have to go to xiemen north station instead.Thanks
2016-10-03 10:46
Hi John,

Thanks for your message. I was wondering if you are talking about the city Xiamen(厦门) in Fujian Province. To transfer to Zhengzhou, then depart at Xiamen Railway Station. If your destination is Wuhan, take bullet trains at Xiamen North Railway Station. Hope my answers would be helpful for you.

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