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Board the train

If it is the first time taking the train in China, the 6 steps will help you to aviod the problems.
Generally speaking, you need to arrive at the railway station an hour before the train leaves.
However, if your train trip is during the Spring Festival Travel Rush or Golden Week Travel Rush, you are suggested to arrive 1.5-2 hours eailier.


Step 1: Enter into the train station
When you reach the train station, you usually arrive at the square out of the station hall. To enter the station hall, you need to wait in lines by showing your ticket,passports and permit,then having your luggage examined by the X-ray machines at the entrance. A policeman or policewoman may "wand" you as the way they do in airports.


Step 2: Find your waiting room
After you enter the station, you should find out your waiting room and the platform to get onboard on the LED screens in the station hall, which also display train schedules and status. In some big cities like Beijing,Shanghai,Xian and Chengdu, they are also broadcasted in English, and bilingual signs in both Chinese and English will be helpful.You can find the right waiting room according to the information on your tickets, or ask station personnel for help if you are in trouble with Chinese characters. Waiting rooms are numbered, and there may be also special rooms for soft seat, soft sleeper and highs-speed train tickets holders. All waiting rooms are equipped  with toilet, drinkable hot water, grocery stores, and newsstands. In a small station that only has one waiting room you just need to find out the right place for check-in. Large stations have Red Cap Luggage Service that a luggage porter carries your luggage to the platform, and, if you pay for this service you can check in ahead of schedule following your luggage.


Step 3: Check in
In most cases, check-in starts 30 minutes before departure time in a starting station. For those pass-by train or intermediate station, there is only no less than 10 minutes for check-in. Apart from the LED screens there will also be broadcast to inform you. Since the real-name system has been applied, you may be required to show your ticket,passports and permit again when check-in. Then drag your suitcases and walk with the flow of people to your platform, and maybe climb or get down some stairs,as not all stations are equipped with escalators.

Step 4: Get on the Train
The train number and the carriage number are shown outside the carriage clearly,therefor it is easy to find your carriage. There is a railway staff at the door of each carriage to whom you are required to show your ticket again. If you board on the wrong carriage, he/she will instruct you to the right one. You are advised to get onboard as early as possible, especially for those who carrying large-sized luggage, because the luggage racks are not large enough for all passengers’ luggage and you have to put your luggage under seats or berths if there's no room for it. Seat/berth numbers are usually above seats or below the table opposit the sleeper car.


Step 5: Check again the document in Gulmud
You may be checked by the police again when arrive Gulmud,you are required to show your ticket, passports and permit again. If any foreigner do not have the permit, then he/she need to get off the train in Gulmud. But this is random, not for all.


Step 6:Get off and find way out of the station
There will be announcement in carriage before the train arrives at each station. On hearing your station, you can start to pack up and prepare to get off. There are clear signs above head showing you the way out, or just follow the stream of people you will find the station exit. Luggage service is available at some stations and you can leave the station with the porters.

Since it is not allowed to pick up people at Lhasa station. You need to walk out of the station and find your guide in the square of the station.

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