Keeping track of precious rail tickets

Updated: 2012-01-19 09:02

By Wu Wencong and Yang Wanli (China Daily)

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Keeping track of precious rail tickets

Keeping track of precious rail tickets

Keeping track of precious rail tickets


Another pro at work

Then there is Gao Ya's experience of fetching tickets online.

On Jan 10, he posted on his micro log that he had helped his friend get a soft-berth ticket online from Beijing to Nanchang, Jiangxi province - even though the system still showed that tickets for this train hadn't yet been released for sale.

This tweet was forwarded more than 6,500 times in a week, and Gao's followers jumped from about 200 to almost 600. On Monday, he posted a detailed tutorial of his method, with illustrations.

Using a plug-in module called Train Editor, he said, a passenger can book a ticket for a specific train number on a different date in advance of the actual travel date planned, and modify the date and type of seat later, which allows people to finish all the preparation work before the ticket is released. When the time comes, all they have to do is click "submit". The ticket is already secured while many others are still trying to check for remaining tickets.

Gao, 26, is an engineer for Miaozhen System, an Internet technology company with experience in developing similar systems.

"My method isn't based on system vulnerabilities," he said. "It simply makes the 'submit' process faster."

No snow

Voices supporting the online booking system can still be heard among the complaints.

"I spent 23 hours queuing in the snow in 2008, eight hours in 2009, four in 2010. This winter, I succeeded both online and via phone, using only 15 minutes," a netizen posted on Saturday on the China Newsweek forum.

"There are problems to be solved, but after all, trying to log on a Web page is better than hours of queuing. I hope the system can get better in the future."

Ma Chao contributed. Write the reporters at and

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