I am planning to book a ticket from Huoerguosi to Urumqi (Y952). The first stop will be in Yining. I am still figuring out the best way to reach Huoerguosi and realised it might be easier to go straight to Yining.

I am planning to get the train ticket early so I was wondering whether it is possible to board the train in Yining if my ticket is from Huoerguosi (in which case I would just book it from Huoerguosi and decide later where I actually board the train)? Given my experience with Chinese trains and the strict rules which apply, I doubt this is possible but I would still like to see if someone has any concrete experiences.

2 Answers 2


Yes, you may do so.

From the official China Railway customer service website (in Chinese):

Q: Can a passenger board a train at an intermediate stop after they have purchased a ticket?
A: Yes, they may do so provided they board the specified train at the specified date. However, the fare for the unused interval will not be refunded.

  • 3
    However, the fare for the unused interval will not be refunded. Glad they cleared that up.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 10:55
  • 4
    In many Chinese railway stations you need to pass one or more ticket inspection gates before getting on the train, at least some of which scan the QR code of your ticket automatically. Will this system automatically let you pass even though your ticket is for a different station? Or do you need to explain your case to the staff? Does anyone have experience with how smoothly this works in practice? How difficult would it be for someone who doesn't speak Chinese?
    – jkej
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 12:13
  • 3
    @jkej Regarding the last question, the answer is that it could be quite hard. Most people in China, particularly the more provincial parts, do not speak any English at all. The Google Translate app can be useful for simple tasks, but more complicated scenarios can be difficult. As this is a pre-known situation, I would suggest getting an explanation translated ahead of time and taking it with you to show them (subject to the answer to the other questions).
    – JBentley
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 13:48
  • Huh, I didn't know China allowed this. In India, if you don't show up to your originally booked origin station, you're liable to having your seat taken up by a waitlisted passenger, unless you explicitly change your boarding point in advance.
    – gparyani
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 15:32

Yes, you can. And the machine will let you through. In fact, buying full ticket and only taking partial intervals is a widely used method in China, especially when the tickets are hard to get, like in the Spring Festival. The system is smart enough to cope with such situations.

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