How to read a Chinese train ticket


Types of tickets for China trains

If you travel by train in China, you are likely to encounter two types of tickets.

The “pink” tickets are usually issued by older train stations and used for normal trains. The green tickets are issued at modern stations or older stations with modern equipment and are mostly used for bullet trains. There are also other types but they are very rare and will not be covered here.

The magnetic tickets are inserted in a reader to give you access to the platform.


The pink tickets are validated manually at the gate by a railway employee when your train is called.

In the event where you picked-up your ticket for a high-speed train at an older station and were given a pink ticket, this ticket will not work in the magnetic reader. In this instance, you need to show your ticket to the railway employees to access the platform.


Exiting a station

You need to have your ticket to exit the station. In modern stations, you will insert your ticket into a reader similar to the one used to access the platform. Pink tickets will be manually checked.

Reading a China train ticket

Some of the text on a ticket consists of various codes and information that don’t really matter to you. You need to pay special attention to the departure and arrival cities, the carriage and seat numbers and train number. Using the train number, you will train find your gate / platform number on various boards in the station. Some tickets for high-speed trains already indicate the gate number in the top right-hand corner


Translation of China train tickets

Here are the key terms of the train tickets translated from Chinese to English.

Enjoy your trip in China!

May 2017

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