How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets

Latest China Train News (Updated on October 31, 2023) :

Foreign passengers can book China train tickets on their own on the China Railway official website At present, is the ONLY China Railway official website for China train tickets booking. No matter you want to book high speed train tickets ( G train, D train or C train), or purchase normal train tickets (like T, Z or K train), you can check latest train routes & schedules, seat classes and prices and as well as buy tickets on this website.

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China’s railway network is a fast-paced wonder that makes exploring the fantastic cities of China - including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guilin, Huangshan, Hangzhou and etc. much easier. There are several ways available to book a high speed train tickets in China. You can have a better understanding about that after read the below details.

When Can You Book China Train Tickets? – Pre-sale Period

Pre-sale period about train tickets refers to the days prior to the train departure. It is subject to change.On June 1, 2022, the train tickets pre-sale (include high speed train tickets) period in China had was changed to 15 days from previous 30 days. More trains will be arranged during the major Chinese festivals.

If you are going to buy Hong Kong high speed train tickets from counters and automatic ticket machines at Hong Kong West Kowloon Train Station in Hong Kong, you can but the tickets 15 days in advance. Or if you book online, through telephone and authorized agents, you could book train tickets 15 days ahead of departure. Read more about How to Book Hong Kong High Speed Train Ticket!

Warm tip: You are highly advised to make a booking as EARLY as possible! High Speed Train Travel has gradually become more and more popular, especially during the Chinese Holidays. And Pre-sale Period for some routes may be changed due to special factors, such as diversion routes (though not often happen), thus please try to book tickets in advance, so as not to delay your trip.

Below are our most popular high speed train tours that you may join in with us or get inspired.

How to Book Tickets Online - 3 Options

Option 1, Book at China Train Ticket Official Site -

In November 2020, China Railway officially launched an English version of its ticketing website, 12306, allowing foreign passengers who don't understand Chinese to register and purchase train tickets themselves. It is important to note that currently, the English version only supports the registration of valid foreign passports. When registering an account and adding passengers, the English version only requires an email address and does not require a Chinese phone number. The website supports multiple payment methods such as VISA, MasterCard, JCB, and Diners, etc.

Check more about China Railway Official Website -

Option 2, Book with an Online Travel Agency like China Discovery

This is the most practical and convenient way for you if you speak little Chinese or start your first China travel. With excellent English available, our professional travel consultants will help you with booking, changing, canceling and any other problems that may be difficult for you to do in person. All inquiries including seat selecting will be handled by experienced advisors to ensure you get the best service. Please worry free to contact us for further help.

Warm tip: Our China high speed train tour packages include train tickets booking service, making you trouble free and worry free about booking a high speed train ticket in China.

Option 3, Book through Telephone - 95105105

After called the Customer Service Phone number 95105105, you can deal with almost all the affairs about tickets, such as book, cancel and delivery. Unlike booking through the official website, there is a time limitation for you to collect your paper tickets. If you phone the official before 12:00 am, you must collect before 12:00 am on the 2nd day. If you phone the official after 12:00 am, you can collect your tickets before 24:00 of the 2nd day. The staffs may only speak Chinese, so it is may be hard for you if you cannot speak (not read) Chinese well. And, International calls cost MUCH, so it is recommended as an alternative plan for you.

How to Book Tickets Offline - 2 Options

Option 1, Book at Train Station in Person

Most stations open 24 hours except some modern stations that only have daytime high speed trains (a few window available after 11:00 pm), and its pre-sale time is 15 days before departure. You should queue in front of ticket selling windows (售票窗口) inside the ticket office (售票厅). Always long queues in front of the counters there, especially during holidays.

Only selected staffs in metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai MAY speak English, so you can show the below sentences when you encounter with some language barrier:

English: Hello, I want to buy a train ticket, is this the correct line?


English: Hello, I couldn’t find the ticket office, could you help me?


Read Most Useful Chinese Phrases for China Train Travel to buy your ticket successfully.

How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets

Ticket Counters at Train Station
(Click image to enlarge)

Warm tips:

● Some modern stations that only have daytime high speed trains.

● Your favorite tickets may be sold out during the waiting time, especially during Chinese holidays, so you’d better prepare alternatives.

● Print out or write down the key information about your selected train in advance, like train number, class, departure station, departure date, arrival station, and show them to the staff so as to save your travel time.

● You CAN NOT obtain tickets from Automatic Ticket Machines at train stations, because they only recognize Chinese issued ID cards.

● Remainder of train tickets showed on the Big Ticket Display Screen next to (or above) the counters, but they are only in Chinese and number.

Option 2, Book at Ticket Outlets near the Hotel You Booked

With a pre-sale period about 15 days before departure, local ticket outlets (火车票代售点) found throughout cities in the mainland China, and operate generally from 9 am to 5 pm. Hand over your passport and payment (an additional CNY 5 per ticket included), and the staff of the outlets will show you available trains on a screen for you to choose. For the staffs may only speak in Chinese, you’d better write the key information about your selected train in advance too.

How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets

Authorized Ticket Outlet
(Click image to enlarge)

China Bullet Train Ticket Price Notice

Price Discounts

To date, most of China bullet trains still keep a fixed fare. The price of the same class seat is the same while there will be slightly difference between different trains. In the second half of year 2018, there will be a train operation diagram adjustment, and the floating price policy will be applied between 6 rail lines, including Hefei to Wuhan, Wuhan to Yichang and etc.

Children Tickets

Children are required to be accompanied by adults on the train. Children between 1.2m and 1.5m need to book child ticket (about 50% for seats on all trains) while those under 1.2m are admitted for free. Note that there is no separate seat for the children with no tickets, which means your children have to share the only seat with you. Considering the comfort of your trip, you’d better book another child ticket for your child if you have a high quality requirement or want more space to view the wonderful sightseeing outside of the window during your China High Speed Train Trip.

>> Check more about How to Read China High Speed Train Tickets

>> Check more about How to Collect China High Speed Train Tickets

>> Check more about Alteration of China High Speed Train Tickets

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


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.

Is there any difference in service depending on whether you have a US Passport vs. a Taiwan Passport?
Is there any special preference given if you have a US Passport vs. a Taiwan Passport? Is there a difference in prices, fees, or priority?
2019-12-24 07:12
Hi Vicki,

Thanks for your message. To book train tickets and travel by train in mainland China, you need to use the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents Permit or US passport. There is no difference in prices, but subject to change if you pay with USD, AUD and other foreign currencies.
What is the time limit to pick up the tickets after booking online?
If I pre-book a month a head the train tickets online, what is the time limit I have to have to pick up the tickets?
2019-08-20 07:03
Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your question! There is no special time limitation of collecting train tickets in China. And the only thing you should pay attention to is collecting your tickets before your train leaves. You can even get your paper tickets on the day of departure. However, to get yourself enough time to catch the train, you are highly recommended to collect the tickets 2 hours in advance. You could collet your paper tickets at any train stations or authorized train ticket outlets (火车票代售点).

If you are interested, you could know more about collecting China train tickets at:

Hope this helps and wish you a nice day!

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