China has moved over to “instant print” bar coded credit card size tickets, having previously used sub-Edmondson size card tickets. Pre-1949, Edmonson size card tickets prevailed. The following is a small selection of Chinese tickets. 


It is not always easy to identify stations. Some stations were renamed, and sometimes one comes across what are probably bus tickets.


Chinese Government Railways (CGR), Canton-Hankow Line (CHL) Canton Kowloon Section. Third Class express ticket issued by China Travel Service Co (CTSC), Guangzhou East – Kowloon Feb 1949. (both sides shown)


Second class ticket. Dated “38, but probably 1949, based on the Republic of China calendar starting in 1911.

“终点站快车票”,特等票。这是“CHR CKS”,大概是广州汉口铁路,广州九龙段”。背面的细节表明,出境手续是在九龙办理的。

“Terminal Express” ticket, special class. This is branded “CHR CKS”, presumably Canton Hankow Railway, Canton Kowloon Section”. The details on the back suggests that the exit formalities were taken care of in Kowloon.


Chinese National Railways sleeping berth ticket issued at Shanhaiguan 山海关 (SHK) on the Pe-Ning  北宁 (Beijing – Shenyang) line. The Chinese is printed vertically and says inter alia, “Republic of China National Railway” i.e. CNR. It is dated “08-12-21”, which I would guess means 1932 (rather than 1919).


Chinese National Railways first class ticket from Tianjin Dong to Beiping (Beijing), 1946 (prob). The fare is 925 yuan “legal currency”.


The title is Chinese Railway Management Committee . This is a first class ticket on the JingHu (Beijing – Shanghai) line from Shanghai Bei to Nanjing. Unfortunately there is no date. The price marked on the front is 3,600 yuan but $18,800 is stamped on the back


Shanghai Bei – Nanjing sleeper ticket (lower berth). I suspect this was a supplement to the above ticket


Third class ticket from Tiantongan to Shanghai North. Tiantongan is the first station north of the Beizhan (north station).  I do not know what “NSR” in the background stands for – Nanjing – Shanghai? It says JingHu Railway on the reverse in Chinese i.e. Beijing – Shanghai.


A free second class ticket for soldiers and dependents, Tianjin Bei – Zhengyangmen. Zhengyangmen was a later name for Qianmen.


This is very interesting. A Japanese style ticket from Beijing Qianmen to Dingxian. The date is “28” which must be the Nationalist calendar i.e. 1939


CNR ticket from Sanyanqiao to Shiweitang.  Shiweitang was the first station in Guangzhou, being the terminus for the line to Sanshui, and is situated on the west bank of the Pearl River, more or less opposite what use to be the Nanzhan or South station, which has disappeared under a container yard.  Date not known but my guess is shortly pre-1949.


Pajiangkou – Guangzhou Xi. A ticket from the pre-1949 nationalist government era.  Pajiangkou is south of Yingde.


This is a real gem.  Xinan – Huangsha in 1985 including a ferry ride.  Xinan is now known as Sanshui and Huangsha is near Shamian Island in Guangzhou.  This would have involved a train journey to Shiweitang station and then across the river to Huangsha. (ticket image: courtesy Rick Wong)


Platform ticket collecting is a well established hobby in China, CRPH even publishing a book on the subject, Zhongguo Tielu Zhantaipiao Tulu 1949-1998   (中国铁路站台票图录).  Collectors focus on these modern pictorial tickets


Current standard ticket format, bar coded and with a magnetic stripe on the back, about credit card size This is a soft sleeper from Chifeng to Beijing Bei.


Barcode ticket issued at Jinchengjiang station for the JS hauled train on the railway to Puluo, December 2001. The two characters on the right are the dreaded “wu zuo 无座” = no seat!  Not a problem on this service.


Some barcoded tickets carry advertisements on the rear and collecting these variations is becoming on the mainland.  This is the reverse of a Beijing – Chengde ticket, December 1996, a tobacco advert


A “daiyong piao 代用票” substitute ticket, generally issued on the train to ticket-less passengers, who need to “bupiao 补票”. This ticket is from Shanghai to Nanchang in 1972, but the format remains much the same to this day. Expect to see these being replaced by hand-held machine printed tickets in the next few years


Nanling Railway ticket, PingNan – Muchong, JS hauled in 1999.


KCR ticket issued at Shaoguan for the through service from Beijing to Kowloon, 1999. 


Kowloon – Beijing West, Christmas Day 2000.

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