China State Railway Group Co., Ltd is revolutionizing the railway services for foreign travelers, creating a seamless experience parallel to the conveniences enjoyed by Chinese nationals. The introduction of the latest version of the foreign permanent resident ID card from Friday onwards and the implementation of an online identity verification service for foreign passport holders from Tuesday marks a significant shift from traditional practices.
Online Convenience for International Travelers
The new developments aim to streamline the process of ticket booking and check-in services for international travelers. With the issuance of the new foreign permanent resident ID card, holders can now register on the railway's official ticket-booking platform, 12306.cn, mirroring the convenience offered to Chinese citizens. This update includes access to self-service check-ins and check-outs, along with the ability to review personal information at the railway station's turnstiles.
Identity Verification Made Easy
Prior to the adoption of the online identity verification service, foreign travelers had to physically present their passports for identity verification at railway station counters when purchasing tickets online. This requirement has now been replaced with a convenient online process. Passport holders can upload their personal information, including passport ID, nationality, and name, along with pictures of their passport information for verification. Once the verification process is complete, travelers can purchase their tickets online, eliminating the need for physical presence at station counters.
China's Railway: A Growing Network
These advancements in railway services coincide with China's significant strides in expanding its railway network. The country's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has led to extensive overseas infrastructure investment and construction in BRI countries, particularly railway project constructions. For instance, the railway linking the cities of Lijiang and Shangri-La in Southwest China's Yunnan province recently opened to traffic, bolstering the country's high-speed railway network. Moreover, the city of Xi'an has seen an increase in the volume of China-Europe freight trains, with 4,843 trains operating this year, marking a 13.77 percent increase from the previous year.
The improvements in railway services for foreign travelers are a testament to China's commitment to enhancing global connectivity and facilitating international travel. The latest developments not only address the previous inconveniences faced by foreign travelers but also underscore China's efforts to create a more inclusive and accessible railway network.