37 stations to pilot name-based train ticket system

The Chinese railway authorities will try out a name-based train ticket system at 37 stations managed by Chengdu Railway Bureau and Guangzhou Railway Group during the Spring Festival this year, the Beijing News reported Friday.

The move is to crack down on scalpers, who have been blamed for creating shortages of train tickets during the past Spring Festival travel peaks when hordes of migrant employees head home.

Under the system, the names and ID card numbers of passengers will be printed on train tickets. Passengers must provide both their tickets and ID cards when they board trains, the report said.

Students and foreigners can also purchase train tickets by providing student ID cards and passports.

Railway authorities said the 37 stations will open more windows to handle the longer lines caused by the more complicated procedures.

Statistics show Guangzhou and Chengdu railway stations are two of the most crowded railway stations in China. The Guangzhou Station, which is called "the biggest railway station in China", has carried more than 200,000 passengers daily during the Spring Festival peak.

The Spring Festival travel peak will run between January 30 and March 10 this year. The Ministry of Railway predicts 210 million passengers during the peak, an increase of 9.5 percent from the same time last year.

(2010-01-09 source:china.org.cn)