Frequently Asked Questions on China Trains

Here is a list of most asked questions, please check here to see if your questions have already been answered. Traveling by railway in China is interesting, easy, affordable, fast and safe.

1. Where can I book a train ticket?

You can buy a train ticket at a train station, a designated ticket office agent or ticket agency online. Booking a train ticket online is recommended because it is convenient and efficient.

2. How difficult is it to book a train ticket at a train station or a train ticket office agent?

It can be difficult for a foreigner who does not speak Chinese to buy a train ticket in China. First, you have to struggle to find a train station, second, you will be waiting for 1-3 hours in a long line but with not 100% chance of getting your ticket. Thirdly, you might buy a wrong ticket due to the language barrier. We recommend that you book your train tickets through us, a professional ticket agency in China. Search and book a China train ticket now.

3. When can I book my train ticket?

China train tickets can be reserved by telephone or online up to 30 days prior to the departure date of the train. Tickets can be bought 18 days prior to the departure date at a railway station or a train ticket office agent. We suggest that you pay to confirm your booking earlier than 30 days through us online so that we have more chance to get the tickets for you.

4. Why should I pay right away when submitting my order

The earlier you pay, the more chance we will have to monitor and book the tickets for you. Train tickets are selling very well, tickets are booked minutes by minutes, so any delay can be caused failure of booking the one you chosen. Of course, there more some options, but we have to research for you which wastes both of our time. When you made the payment, we can start the booking right away to get the tickets for you as soon as possible. 

5. Will I definitely get the tickets that I selected and paid for?

Not 100% the ones you chosen, because train tickets in China sell very well and fast, especially tickets between big cities and in holidays can be sold out in a minute. When we receive you payment, we will start to reserve the tickets right away (tickets are open for sale 21 days prior to the departure time). If the tickets you chosen are not available, we will contact you by sending possible and best options, or cancel and get the refund. Usually 99% of the paid reservation can get tickets successfully.

6. What does the train booking include?

The price includes ticket & service charge; ticket delivery if applicable, payment transfer fee if applicable and all taxes if applicable.

7. How to collect my train tickets?

A. Collect your tickets in a train station or a designated ticket office, CNY5 per ticket in cash is required.

B. Delivery to a hotel address in China (at least 4 days prior to the train departure)

C. Deliveyr to a personal address in China (at least 4 days prior to the train departure)

8 Can I pay for four soft sleepers for two passengers?

No, you can’t because one ID card or passport can only buy one ticket in the same train and on the same departure date due to the Real-Name Train Ticket Policy.

9. Can I use my credit card to purchase a train ticket?

Most train stations and ticket offices only accept cash, so you need to have enough cash in CNY to buy your ticket. Some of them accept credit cards if they are equipped with a POS machine. Credit card will be acceptable if you book through a hotel or a train ticket agency.

10. Is there any service fee when purchasing a train ticket?

There is no extra fee when buying a rail ticket directly from a train station. If you book a train ticket from a designated train ticket office, a service fee of CNY 5 per ticket is required.

11. Are announcements in English at the train station?

It depends. The English version of a broadcast is used in some big cities like Beijing, Xian and Shanghai but only Chinese is available in some small cities. We suggest that you ask for help to confirm your ticket details, like platform and carriage number, from one of the staff members at the station.

12. Any difference between high-speed trains and other trains?

Yes, the high-speed trains are new and more advanced: faster in speed, quieter in a cabin, cleaner, better service and much more stable. Usually a high speed train reaches the next destination on the same day. A Bullet train is almost the same as a high speed train. A bullet train travels at about 200km/h and a high speed train is about 300km/h. There are overnight bullet trains between Beijing and Shanghai. The journey takes between 9.30 hours and 11.30 hours.

All the seats in high speed trains and bullet trains are reclining, while those in ordinary trains are not.

13. Is there any food served on a train?

Yes, each train offers a dining carriage where travelers can have meals. You can buy your meal from a dining handcart passing by your cabin/seat. The food on train is quite expensive and exclusive. All the meals are Chinese style. You can take your own food on the train.

14. How about the luggage limitation on China trains?

High speed train (G trains), Bullet train (D trains) and Inter-city train (C trains): there is no extra cost to take baggage up to 20kg with the total width, length and height not greater than 130cm. The luggage rack is only about 45 – 50cm wide and 50 – 60cm high. However, there are shared closets in the two sides of the carriage for big luggage, the earlier you get in the cabin, the more chances you will have to put your luggage there. Be aware, especially if you have any fragile items, that someone may put their luggage on top of yours.

Ordinary trains (Z, T, K, Y, S, L trains): there is no extra cost for a passenger to take baggage up to 20kg with the total width, length and height not greater than160cm.

If your luggage weighs much more than 20kg, China-Train-Ticket suggests that you go to the train station earlier to have your large luggage checked and transferred by freight. You can pick up it when you arrive at your next city.

15. Can I deposit my luggage in a train station?

You can deposit your luggage in most of the train stations or in some personal stores. A service fee will be charged approximately CNY10-20 per piece (for hours or half day) depends on its size. Don’t leave any valuable items in your luggage.

16. Do all the trains/stations offer boiled water?

Yes, boiled water is available in all the stations and on trains. Take along a big covered cup for your journey.

17. What about the toilet on the train, seated or squat?

Squat toilets are used in ordinary trains, while seated toilets are offered on high speed/bullet/inter-city trains. Toilet paper is not provided on the trains, so take your own. Many people use the train toilets and they can get smelly.

18. What can I do if I miss my train?

Usually you can go to the ticket office (there are special offices for the train tickets change/refund) in the train station immediately to check if you can have your ticket changed or refunded. Generally speaking, a ticket can be cancelled or changed in a train station about 2 hours before departure time, however, you can still have your ticket changed or refunded at some train stations for about 2 hours after the train left. You can try to contact and talk to the stationmaster who can make a decision regarding changing or refunding your ticket.

19. What should I do if I lost my ticket before taking the train?

You should go to a ticket office and report the loss of your ticket at the train station by presenting your valid passport/ID. You will need to tell them your lost ticket information (train no. departure date, time, and seat class) and then you need to pay and buy a new ticket for the same seat class, departure date/time and berth on the same train. CNY2 per ticket will be charged as the service fee. When you board the train, you need to tell the conductor what happened, and ask for a passenger transport record before you reach the next destination. You will be able to get your refund for the new ticket within 24 hours after you arrive at your destination by showing the record, the new ticket and your passport.

20. How to pick up the tickets once I arrived at China?

As mentioned above, there are three ways to get your tickets once we booked: get your ticket by yourself at a train station or a ticket office; delivery to your hotel address in China or delivery to a personal address in China. No hassle, no fuss.

21. How can I collect tickets at train station?

You will need the confirmation number from us and your valid passport to collect the tickets at a train station. We suggest that you go to the train station at least 2 hours in big cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, etc.) prior to the train departure, 1-1.5 hour in advance in small cities (Guilin, Huangshan, Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc.).

22. Can I book my tickets in the same cabin, all bottom sleepers, or a window seat?

We will try our best to help you have the tickets assigned as your preference. However, online booking cannot be fully guaranteed on some well-selling trains as the seats are assigned automatically by computer. Usually, earlier booking offer more chances to be seated in the same cabin with requested sleepers and seats, but not 100% guaranteed.

23. What should I if I did not have my hotels booked in China before booking the train travel?

You can choose the option when you are booking online: Not confirm our delivery address in China, will write to you later.

We will book and keep the train tickets for you and receive your hotel information later.

24. What’s the differences between Chinese and Western trains?

In China, you have to wait for hours in line to book a ticket, you need to pass a security check and then go to the correct waiting hall, walk about 3-5 minutes up steps to reach the train.   There are no luggage carts at the train stations.  The carriage number and seat number are fixed when booking a train ticket in China, luggage racks are different: narrow and small luggage racks are provided in a train in China.   There is no wifi in a train and only simple, more expensive dining is available. It is usually crowded at the train station, and even in a train. Also,  sanitation is not as reliable as in most western trains.

More questions?

Please fill out our contact form if you have more questions. Kindly be advised that our office is always busy with train ticket reservations. We'll only reply to enquiries relating to train ticket/tour package reservations and unfortunately must discard non-related emails. We are unable to answer questions such as visa requirement, vaccinations, etc.