Good news for those who travel by train. According to Xinhua
, the first batch of 45 railway stations, including Hefei South Railway Station, Nanjing South Railway Station and Hangzhou East Railway Station, officially launched and implemented the use of electronic ticketing on earlier this month. Meanwhile, train stations in other cities have also started implementing the use of e-tickets –
the plan is to cover all high-speed railway lines and EMU trains all over China by mid-December.
Back in July, the Shanghai-Nanjing Inter-city Railway began trial runs on e-tickets, and as of the end of October, a total of around 18 million e-tickets had been sold. The Shanghai Railway Bureau
says that the idea behind e-tickets is to solve problems like forgetting or losing your ticket, as well as reduce ticket fraud and improve the quality of overall service.
Despite Shanghai not being included in the first batch, the new feature is already being rolled out here on a limited basis (for now, railway staff may still be present at boarding to manually scan e-tickets). To sign up, register on the 12306
website, download the app and complete the facial recognition verification. You'll need to enter your ID number (for Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan citizens) or passport number (for foreigners), your Chinese phone number and you're all set to go. Once you’ve registered and purchased an e-ticket, the 12306 app will generate a QR code that can be used to enter and exit train gates.
Note that both the website and app are only available in Chinese, so you may have to find someone who can help out if you don't understand Mandarin, and you may be speeding your way through the queue soon enough.