China Railway Policy Modifications and Train Travel Tips
Several modifications to China Railway Policy have come into effect since December 1, 2010. Travelers, especially train passengers, should pay attention to those changes in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
1. Ticket Expiration on Train's Leaving
If travelers could not board the train on time (before the train leaves the station), the tickets they hold will become invalid and won't be refunded as well. So ticket changing or refunding should be done before the train sets off.
However, there are two exceptions:
A. If travelers are sick or wounded, they can take relevant certificates (certificates from hospitals) and ask for the station master's approval to make their ticket changed or refunded 2 hours after the train departs.
B. This new policy is only applicable to ordinary trains, not to express trains (high-speed railways). So those who buy tickets for high-speed rails still can change or refund the tickets in one day.
2. Child Ticket Standards Changed
Children less than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) are free to board the train in adults' accompany; one child with one adult. But if a grown-up takes more than one child, he should buy half-priced tickets for the other children.
Children whose height is from 1.2 meters to1.5 meters (4.9 feet) should buy half-priced tickets. The height is 10 centimeters (4 inches) higher than the previous requirement.
A child, taller than 1.5 meters, has to purchase a full-price ticket according to the new regulation.
Note: In China, children are legally defined as people less than 18 years old; children without adult company are not allowed to take train rides.
3. Luggage Requirements Reset
In accordance with the modifications, the sum of the external dimension (the length, width, and height) of every piece of luggage should not exceed 1.60 meters (5.3 feet). If the luggage is beyond the dimension requirement, it should be consigned.
There is also a weight requirement for the luggage. One adult could take pieces of luggage totally less than 20 kilograms, and a child in less than 10 kilograms.
4. No Ticket Reclamation at the Exit
Passengers don't need to return the tickets but can keep their tickets after showing them to the railway clerks at the station exit.
China Odyssey Tours suggests that railway travelers should check the traffic and weather conditions of their destinations in advance and get to the station at least 30 minutes earlier to ensure a smooth journey.