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China Train FAQs

• How many days in advance should I book my ticket?
Answer: Train tickets can be booked through telephone or online 20 days in advance to the departure date. When booking at the railway station or booking offices, tickets are selling 18 days proir to your departure. We do suggest to book as early as possible, especially during peak times.

Book office at a railway station
Ticket Office of Railway Station

• Can I book ticket online?
Answer: China Railway Customer Service Center provides online booking service, while the website is in Chinese only. We suggest to find agents offering this service, SinoTour.com.cn is among them. At present, we could help you to book the tickets from any cities in mainland China.

• What's the Real-Name Ticket Policy?
Answer: This policy is applicable to all trains since January 1, 2012, which is taken to stop scalpers who profit a lot especially during the travel peaks. Passengers should buy tickets and get on board with their valid ID.

• Can I pay for four soft sleepers of one cabin for two passengers?
Answer: The Real-Name Ticket Policy admits that one passenger buys one ticket in the same train and on the same departure date. So, you can not buy four soft sleepers of one cabin for two passengers.

• Do they accept credit card when purchasing a rail ticket?
Answer: Most railway stations and booking offices only accept cash. We accept both Paypal or Western Union as well as Bank Transfer.

• Is there a service fee when buying a ticket?
Answer: There is no extra charge when purchasing tickets directly from the railway station. The downside is that you need to wait in a long queue for hours especially during the public holidays. To buy from an agency (such as SinoTour.com.cn) is much more convenient, therefore a certain amount of service fee will be charged.

• Is the facilities on high-speed trains different from other trains?
Answer: Facilities on high-speed trains are new and much advance, but those on ordinary trains are able to meet passengers demand during a trip.

• Is there any food served on the train?
Answer: Yes, a specialized dining car is enclosed to offer meals. There are also dining handcarts where you can purchase a meal regularly go back and forth through the carriages during your journey. The food is not included in your train ticket fee and is generally Chinese dishes. We do suggest to prepare some snacks before boarding.

• Do they broadcast in English at railway station?
Answer: In some big cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, English broardcast is available.

• How about the baggage limitation of the high-speed trains?

Answer: There is a baggage limitation on high-speed / bullet trains that one passenger can take baggage within 20kg for free and the total length of the baggage's width, length and height should be within 160cm. Read More.

• Can I deposit luggage at the railway station?
Answer: Yes, one can store luggages in most of the railway stations. Certain service fee at your own cost.

• How is the toilet on the train?
Answer: On ordinary trains, the toilets are generally squatted. Seated toilets are available on high speed trains only.

• What to do if I lost my ticket before I take the train?
Answer: One should report the loss of ticket at the ticket office of the railway station by presenting your ID and pay for a new ticket for the same seat/berth on the same train. After you get on the train, you should tell the conductor that you lost your ticket and have bought a new one, and then the chief conductor will give you a passenger transport record before you reach your destination. With the record, the new ticket and your passport, you can have the new ticket refunded and get the money back within 24 hours after you arrive at your destination.

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