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How to board and disembark a China Train

To secure a smooth train journey, it is better to know the following things before boarding a train. We welcome any questions and concerns from you before or after you sending us tickets inquiry.

1. Document required.

Remember to pack up document that you used to book tickets, including passport, ID card for Mainland Chinese, or Mainland Travel Permit for passengers from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Paper ticket (if issued and delivered to your address already); for e-ticket, you need to change to paper ticket at train station before boarding.

2. Read your train tickets and find out the right station to go to.

In many cities, there are two or more train stations located in different directions of the city. For example, Beijing has Beijing Railway (北京站), Beijing West Railway Station (北京西站), Beijing South Railway Station (北京南站) and Beijing North Railway Station (北京北站). Each operates different kinds of trains or trains to different directions.

To avoid the mistake, read your ticket carefully before starting out. It stated on the ticket clearly which station to depart and arrive. ETripChina will also specific in confirmation email the departure station and address both in English and Chinese.

read China train ticket

3. Go to train station

Plan your ground transport beforehand and get to train station 40 – 60 minutes prior to departure time. Trains stations are always well connected with bus routes but takes time.

If time is enough, no large suitcase, adults only, direct bus available, limits of budget, you can consider bus journey.

We recommend you taking taxi for the following situations: rush hour, travelling by 2-3 persons; no large suitcases; adults only.

Private transfer is better: Early arrival or departure, elderly or children in the group, up to 4 persons, large suitcases, and not familiar with places. ETripChina is ready to help with your ground transfers.

4. Collect Paper ticket if you booked e-ticket

Since 2019, China high-speed trains have entered e-ticket era and that is available to most of normal trains since Jun. 2020. Passengers will check in with ID card (Chinese ID card and return card holders) and facial recognition. Tickets booked with passports will be checked manually. Parts of normal trains and international trains still offer paper tickets.

e-ticket number sent by ETripChina via email

At ticket office, there are ticket windows selling tickets or collecting paper tickets; ticket machines are for Chinese ID Card holders only. See how the ticket office looks like.

Ticket office


5. Check into the departure hall / Waiting Room

When getting your paper tickets in hand, you can check into the departure hall. Prepare both ticket and passport which will be checked for the first time. Then put your luggage through the X-ray machine and collect them on the other side, and move to the departure hall to wait for boarding. Train station facilities vary from the large cities to small towns, but check in procedures are almost the same.

Tips: Be sure to avoid the prohibit articles in your luggage including but not limited to animals, knives, flammable, toxic and explosive goods.

luggage check at China railway stations Waiting Room Waiting Room

6. Board your train

Announcement will remind you to board train 10-30 minutes earlier to departure time. Electronic boards also show the departure train number and boarding gate (it is also stated on the ticket for some large stations). Line up at the right boarding gate and get passport and ticket ready which will be checked for the second time.

boarding gate

Bear in mind, you may need to go up and down stairs through the lounge to platform. Only few new and large stations offer elevators. So light packing is always suggested.

Over 300 newly built or renovated stations offer directions on led screens. Follow the signs to the correct platform.

If the station is a terminus, your departure train is always waiting for you at the platform when check in. If not, you need to wait at the platform for a few minutes. Stand outside of the yellow area which also marked with coach numbers.

 train station platform boarding train at platform

7. Enjoy your ride

Enjoy a relax journey after putting your luggage safely on the rack or space beside you. All high-speed trains are new, spacious, stable, seats can be reclined to your comfortable position and always keep you in the direction as the train running.
Tips: You have the right to sit on your own seat which is assigned at booking. However, you can also change with others if agreed or give the convenience to others.

8. Watch for your stop

Trains are usually stop for about 2 minutes if not large station or terminus. Be ready to disembark from the train as quickly and safely as you can. Pay attention to the announcement which will remind several minutes prior to a stop both in English and Chinese.

9. Disembark from your train

Follow the direction to find Exit or elevator. Keep your paper ticket safe and readily accessible. You need it to open the auto-door at the exit.

Exit of Beijing South Railway Station

10. Ground Transfer

City transport is generally convenient whether the station is in the downtown area or outskirt of the city. Taxis are quite easy to find in front of the exit, however, almost drivers can't speak English, and neither read. Be sure you bring printed relevant phrases and your destination in Chinese to show them.

To secure a hassle-free ground transfer, please visit our transfer service center. Classic day trips and city packages are also carefully designed in all accessible China cities.


11. Useful phrases both in English and Chinese

请送我到这个火车站. Please take me to this train station.
请问火车站售票处在哪里? Please, where is the ticket office?
请问网络订票的取票窗口在哪里? Excuse me, I booked ticket online. Which ticket window should I go to?
请问在哪个窗口办理改签/退票? May I ask which window is for change and cancellation?
请问洗手间在哪里? Where is the bathroom, please?
请问我应该去哪个候车室? May I ask which waiting room I should go?
麻烦提醒我在这个站下车。 Please remind me to get off at this station.

Train Travel Tips



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