China Trains Policies
In order to have a better train experience, please carefully read the China trains policies below.
China Train Ticket Booking Policy
Time of Booking
The pre-sale period for train tickets online is usually 30 days. Sometimes it is shortened because of the Spring Festival travel rush or changes in the schedule. At railway stations and ticket offices, they go on sale 28 days before departure. Telephone can book the tickets within 4-30 days before departure (including the day of ticket purchase).
At 12306.cn website, when booking, changing and cancelling the tickets, please do it not later than 25 minutes before departure; if within 25 minutes, please go to the station ticket window for processing. At 12306.cn, if you want to change the arrival station, please do it no later than 48 hours before departure.
China Railway’s booking system closes from 23:00 to 06:00, Beijing time. So all the service including booking, changing and canceling can only be done during their work time.
A China train ticket can only be changed once. An e-ticket booked through China official ticket website 12306.cn can be altered online at least 30 minutes prior to departure. Other than this, you should make an alteration at train stations.
Normally, there is no charge for ticket change. If the new ticket is lower than the original one, your overpayment will be refunded. However, if the price of the new ticket is higher than the original one, 5% of the difference will be charged as service fee. If you book through an agent, there may be a service charge.
You can cancel your ticket online if you do not collect your ticket and it is more than 30 minutes before your train leaves. Other than this, you can only cancel your tickets at railway stations. Tickets can be cancelled at all train stations in mainland China.
China Train Ticket Cancellation Charges
|Time Left Before Departure||Cancellation Charges|
|More than 15 days||None|
|48 hours – 15 days||5 % of the original fare(at least CNY 2)|
|24 hours – 12 hours||10 % of the original fare|
|Within 24 hours||20 % of the original fare|
An adult passenger can bring a child less than 1.2 meters tall for free. If there is more than one child under 1.2 meters tall, one child is free, and other children need to buy a child ticket. If the height of the children is 1.2-1.5 meters, please buy a child ticket. For children over 1.5 meters, please purchase the tickets at the full price. A child’s ticket price is half that of an adult ticket, except for sleeper tickets.
Generally check-in starts 15 to 30 minutes before the train leaves, please be at railway station at least 45 minutes in advance.
China Train Baggage Allowance and Policy
Weight and Size Limits
According to China Railway Safety Management Regulations, passengers who have purchased tickets can carry a certain amount of luggage free of charge on Chinese trains. Each adult passenger can carry 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of luggage. Every child with a ticket can carry less than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of luggage. For normal trains, the sum of length, width and height of each piece of luggage shall not exceed 160 cm (63 inches). The length of the rod-shaped luggage should not exceed 200 cn (79 inches). For high-speed trains, the total of the three dimensions cannot exceed 130 cm (51 in) and a rod-shaped item cannot exceed 130 cm (51 in).
The baggage restrictions are not applicable to wheelchairs, which can be brought onboard for free.
- Explosives items: explosives in any form, explosive devises, maroons, etc
- Dangerous items: any weapons, eg. knives and guns, and offensive items like imitation guns, and any type of bullets
- Compressed gases: petroleum gas, coal gas, oxygen, hydrogen, etc
- Flammable liquids: alcohol, retinol, multi-purpose adhesives, thinners, petrol, glass cement, paint spray, hydrogen peroxide, diesel oils, etc
- Highly-flammable solids: camphor, hexamine and other solid fuels, etc.
- Poisons: arsenic trioxide, asphalt, emulsifier of all kinds, power pesticide, termite powder, pesticide spray etc
- Live animals (except guide dogs) and foul smelling items
- Things that interfere with the train’s signal
Limited Quantity Items
- Nail polish, delusterant, or hair dye (up to 20 ml)
- Aerosol spray cans/bottles (up to 120 ml): mousse, hairspray, air freshener, etc.
- Cigarettes: at most 50 cartons
- Two small boxes of safety matches
- Two ordinary lighters
- Drinking alcohol: at most 6 unpacked bottles (500 ml or 17.6 fl oz in each bottle) with 50% or less vol and up to 2 bottles if over 50% vol.
China Railway Consignment Service
If your luggage exceeds the allowable amount or if you are traveling with a special item that is not allowed by the Chinese train, please consign it before departure. When consigning baggage, you need to show your ticket and fill in a form, which should include your name, address, telephone number and the weight or quantity of the items. Please remember to wrap up these fragile items and electronic products because they may be damaged during transportation. It is additional charged based on the traveling distance, baggage weight and baggage types. After you and your baggage have arrived, you can collect your baggage using the baggage collection vouchers that the carrier gave you.
Limits on Checked Baggage:
- Each checked luggage shall not exceed 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
- The minimum volume should be greater than 0.01 cubic meters (0.01 cubic codes).
- Checked baggage cannot be currency, securities, cultural relics, jewelry, important documents and other valuables.
- Checked baggage cannot be weapons, explosives, combustibles, corrosives, poisons and other dangerous goods.
Note: High-speed trains don’t currently provide a baggage consignment service.
Popular China Train Routes
In China, train is an important mode of long-distance travel. China’s high-speed railway network is by far the longest and the most comfortable HSR in the world. Convenient railway network in China boosts train travel greatly. Traveler who like different landscapes must try to travel by train in China, because you will surprise by the drawing on the windows of the train. See below popular China train routes or contact our consultant to tailor-make your amazing China train tours!