It's almost that time of the year again. Yes, that's right, the Chunyun period, known as the largest annual migration of humans on Earth, will officially kick off on January 21, 2019. To help us prepare for our Spring Festival travel, the first round of train tickets will go on sale from December 23, reports Shine.
Travelers can secure their tickets through the China Railway Corporation's official website (www.12306.cn) and the 12306 app. In Shanghai, bookings can also be made from agencies around the city and at train station ticket windows. Train tickets are usually available up to 30 days in advance.
To ease the pressure on train tickets this year, China Railway Corporation has developed a standby system. "Even if the tickets for one trip are sold out, passengers can still register and pay for the tickets," explains Shan Xinghua, who manages ticketing system development for China Railway Corporation. "If someone else cancels the trip and returns the tickets, the system will automatically book the tickets for those who have registered."
Image via The Paper
This new system has been developed to crack down on third-party ticketing websites and software. According to statistics, there were at least 58 platforms of such kind during the 2018 Chunyun. Many travelers paid extra service fees and still didn't receive their tickets, some even had their personal information compromised.
One thing to be noted is that the 12306 website and app only operates daily between 7am and 11pm. "We have to maintain and upgrade the server every night as a result of the tremendous web traffic generated during the day," says Shan. "The limited booking hours may be removed next year since we are already figuring ways to crack the problem."
The 2019 Chunyun period will begin on January 21 and last until March 1. Chinese New Year falls on February 5 this year.
[Cover image via The Paper]