Train passengers book tickets early to beat the rush

Updated: 2013-01-07 07:41

By Xu Wei (China Daily)

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Train passengers book tickets early to beat the rush

Passengers will be able to book railway tickets for the Spring Festival holidays 20 days before their journeys, under new rules introduced by the Ministry of Railways.

But the rules apply only to online and telephone bookings.

Last year, passengers could only book tickets 12 days in advance.

The new rules mean travelers can start booking on Monday for journeys on Jan 26, the starting day of Spring Festival rush, the annual travel peak that coincides with Spring Festival.

Passengers purchasing tickets at railway stations will only be able to buy tickets 18 days ahead of their journey.

Spring Festival rush is the biggest temporary human migration in the world.

Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional festival for the Chinese and an occasion for family reunions. This year's Spring Festival begins on Feb 10.

In 2012, more than 220 million trips were made on the rial system during Spring Festival rush.

This year's Spring Festival rush will last 40 days, from Jan 26 to March 6.

Online and phone bookings must be made between 7 am and 11 pm, but the ticket offices at different train stations may have different their opening times.

Online users can obtain the tickets at any station in China that has Internet ticket booking services. Passengers who book tickets via telephone can obtain tickets at any ticket booth or train station.

Foreign passengers can use their passports, residence certificates or entry-exit certificates to purchase tickets.

(China Daily 01/07/2013 page3)