China's trains join superhighway with e-tickets

By Yan Weijue (
Updated: 2011-04-13 11:26
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Buying a train ticket and travelling on China's railways is about to get a whole lot easier.

A raft of new customer-friendly schemes is to be introduced including printing passengers names on tickets to help combat the scourge of the scalpers.

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The real-name ticket purchasing system, which requires passengers to provide ID when buying a ticket, will be introduced to all high-speed trains in China starting on June 1.

China will also introduce e-tickets that can be bought online or over the phone with bankcards as well as automatic fare collection, the railway minister Sheng Guangzu said in an interview with People's Daily Tuesday.

The new Beijing to Shanghai express railway will pioneer the new online booking system in June, which will then be rolled out across the whole national railway network by the end of the year.

During the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015), 30,000 kilometers of new railway lines will be added, which will extend the length of railway from the current 91,000 kilometers to approximately 120,000, said the minister, adding that 50,000 of that will be in the western region of the country.