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Railway ticket selling reaches peak

The Spring Festival travel peak is expected to start from this Saturday. It's the busiest time of the whole year for the selling of train tickets. Railway departments across the country are taking various measures to deal with the pressure.

One million real-name tickets from the Guangzhou Railway Group had been booked by phone as of Tuesday. But one third of them were not collected within the period of validity. Those tickets will return to the booking system. And ticket scalpers take advantage of the loophole.

Huang Xin, Official Guangzhou Railway Group, said, "The scalpers book the tickets with their IDs first, and sell the tickets to those who need them. When the period of validity has passed, they will replace the ID information with the buyers' with the help of someone in the phone booking system."

The railway group says it will block calls from phone numbers used to book tickets in abnormally high numbers. It will also delay the returning time of canceled tickets.


Meanwhile, police in Guangzhou City have also cracked three groups making fake IDs for booking tickets.

At Shanghai Railway Station, passengers queued at the ticket office overnight for direct service on popular long-distance lines.

"I'm going to Guangzhou. I came here at 9 last evening."

Station officials suggest passengers turn to joint-trip tickets, which are easier to get.

While in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, ticket sales have fallen slightly as the rush of returning students comes to end.

Chengdu Railway Bureau expects more than 9 million trips within the province during the peak. It will also begin selling name-based tickets from February 14th.

(January 29, 2010