Did you know that your Chinese ID card could already be a train ticket?
If you are the holder of a valid (second-generation) mainland PRC ID card, there is an option on high speed railway lines for you to simply use your ID card as an e-ticket. To do this, you must have purchased your ticket online on a computer or a smartphone (the use of ticket machines, ticket counters, authorised agents or phone booking will not work).
High speed railway e-tickets will be progressively introduced nationwide. They are already available on many lines.
At present, only “main line” stations on the following lines have ticket gates enabled for the use of ID cards as e-tickets:
- Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway (including Tanggu Railway Station)
- Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway (including branch lines services to / from Hefei)
- Harbin-Dalian High Speed Railway
- Shanghai-Nanjing Intercity High Speed Railway
- Shanghai-Hangzhou High Speed Railway
- Beijing-Shenzhen High Speed Railway
- ID cards cannot be used as e-tickets for trains to or from Qingdao, or at the central Ji’nan Railway Station.
- ID cards also cannot be used as e-tickets for the nightly D trains from Beijing to Nanjing and Shanghai.
When boarding, always use the automated ticket gates.
Put your ID card on the “flat” part of the machine with the light blue rounded sticker (or on some newer machines in the part where you see Please Present Ticket) — do not force your ticket through the ticket card slot. Some machines will also have a dedicated part of the machine to be used for ID cards and ExpressPay cards — use that part of the machine.
Allow the gate reader a few seconds (around 2-5 is OK) to read your ID card. The gates will then open (unless you do not have a valid e-ticket record on your ID card).
Sit in the seats allocated to you in the SMS text message or the email that the railways sent you following a successful booking.
You may request your e-ticket on paper at any time by picking up your e-ticket.
You may pick up your e-ticket as a paper ticket:
- before departure, at an automated ticket machine, an e-ticket pickup machine, or at the counter; or
- after the exit gates, at an automated ticket machine or at the counter (within 31 days after the completion of your journey).
Note that if you request your e-ticket as a paper ticket, you will need to use your paper ticket — and not your ID card — to pass through the ticket gates at both the stations of departure and arrival.
If you request your paper ticket after the end of your journey and you are having difficulties, see the Station Master on Duty.
The paper ticket you request at the end of your journey will have the remark “Ticket Checked” (已检) or “Valid for Reimbursements Only” (仅供报销使用). This ticket can only be used for reimbursement purposes or as a souvenir. It is illegal to attempt to gain access to trains using this ticket.