E-ticket cover paper ticket farewell


From 1950s to 1997, the most common “hard ticket”.
Photo of this edition (except the signature) / taken by Wu Ning, reporter of Beijing News
From 1997 to 2009, the “soft paper ticket”, the common pink shading ticket, was used nationwide.
Around 2009, blue magnetic media tickets were used. After June 2011, the high-speed railway (bullet train) sold tickets in real name and began to record passenger information on the tickets.
On January 4, at Beijing South Railway Station, passengers swiped their ID cards to get in directly. Photo by Wang Guibin, reporter of Beijing News
The Spring Festival in 2020 is about to kick off. During the Spring Festival this year, e-tickets will basically cover the national high-speed railway lines, and passengers can enter the station and take a bus just by swiping their ID card or mobile phone QR code, which is a major change of the Spring Festival this year.
Nowadays, more and more stations are saying goodbye to paper tickets. Kang Shunxing, Secretary of the Party branch of the ticket shop of Beijing South Railway Station, takes the changes of tickets in decades into consideration.
From hard ticket, soft paper ticket, magnetic medium ticket to electronic ticket, Kang Shunxing, as an old conductor who has worked in the railway line for 34 years, has witnessed every change of train ticket.
“In the past, passengers always had to take tickets. Now they can get on the train with ID card. These changes were beyond my imagination at first.” Kang Shunxing said.
“Hard ticket” era
It’s normal to take a few tickets to get on the bus
After taking part in the work in 1985, Kang Shunxing’s first “handle” ticket was “hard ticket”.
“The workshop teacher Fu said that the hard ticket is the first generation of train ticket. We also call it” standing ticket “, which means” frequently used ” With that, Kang Shunxing put a piece of “small cardboard” about 4cm long and 2cm wide in front of the reporter and introduced them one by one.
“From the 1950s to around 1997, this kind of hard ticket was used for train tickets. At first, the hard ticket is a few pieces of stacked use, but also with a ticket
Kang Shunxing’s “superimposed use” refers to that if a passenger wants to buy a “fast sleeper” ticket, he must first have a common “ticket”, superimpose a “express ticket”, then superimpose a “sleeper ticket”, and may also add a “air-conditioning ticket”. These four “hard board tickets” together form a complete set of train tickets. “We call it a” four in one “ticket.”
“Getting on the train with a few tickets was the norm in the 1980s.” Kang Shunxing said.
Reporters found that the first generation of “hard tickets” did not show train number, time and other information.
Kang Shunxing introduced that the first generation of “hard tickets” are actually prefabricated in large quantities. When passengers purchase tickets at the ticket office, if there are still more tickets, they will put the date of taking the bus on the tickets. Passengers will also receive a ticket with basic information such as train number and time.
“The first generation of tickets were pink, white and brown, representing different types of tickets.” Kang Shunxing told reporters that the pink background is for ordinary passenger tickets, the white background is generally for speed tickets or sleeper tickets, and the brown background is for suburban tickets in Beijing, which is similar in different cities.
In addition, in the 1980s, when online tickets were not available, people could only buy tickets at presales or railway stations. “The pre-sale offices in several cities will sell tickets from Beijing to other places three days in advance, and the remaining tickets will be collected at the railway station for unified sale.” Kang Shunxing said.
From soft paper ticket to magnetic medium ticket
More than ten times faster than “hard ticket” online booking is rising
In the later period of the first generation of “hard ticket”, a “four in one” comprehensive ticket appeared, that is, a “hard ticket” integrates the functions of ticket, express, sleeper, air conditioning, etc. “this kind of comprehensive ticket can be regarded as the prototype of the second generation of” soft ticket ”
From 1997 to 2009, the second generation of tickets – “soft paper tickets”, i.e. the common pink background tickets, began to be used nationwide.
“The biggest change in the face element is the addition of a barcode, which later became a one-dimensional code. Except for the lack of real name information, it is the same as the blue magnetic ticket as a whole.” In Kang Shunxing’s view, in addition to the “multiple tickets in one”, “soft paper tickets” save a lot of time and energy for ticket sellers, and also reduce the waiting time for passengers to buy tickets.
“The prefabricated rigid tickets used to occupy a lot of space. There are two big cabinets next to each conductor. One cabinet has two or three hundred kinds of tickets, and one stack is put in it. What kind of tickets do passengers need, we have to find them in it. According to the face information, we need to use the abacus to calculate the total price of the ticket. After selling a ticket, you have to record the details in the book. The whole process is time-consuming and laborious. ” Kang Shunxing said.
“The use of” soft paper tickets “cannot be separated from the development of computer technology. The information of passengers is typed into the computer, and a ticket is printed out in tens of seconds. This speed is more than ten times that of the” hard board ticket “era.”
Around 2009, the third generation of blue “magnetic media tickets” began to be used.
“Magnetic tickets are the blue tickets that most of us are very familiar with now. Everything is very convenient. The passenger can not only enter the station directly through the gate, but also the information display on the ticket is more perfect. ” Kang Shunxing said.
In June 2011, high-speed rail (bullet train) implemented real name ticket sales, and passenger information began to appear on train tickets.
Along with the ticket “evolution”, there are naturally ways to buy tickets. “Now more and more people are using computers and mobile phones to book tickets, and fewer and fewer people are buying tickets at the railway station. In the last century, the situation of moving a small Mazar to line up to buy train tickets almost never happened again.” Kang Shunxing sighed, “all this has developed too fast.”
The era of “electronic ticket”
You can get on the bus by swiping your ID card
In 2020, during the Spring Festival, the Fourth Era of the development of train tickets, electronic tickets will basically cover the national high-speed railway lines, and passengers can enter the station to check their tickets and take a ride only by swiping their ID card or mobile phone QR code.
In Kang Shunxing’s view, the arrival of “e-ticket” is “revolutionary”. This revolutionary change lies in that it subverts all previous ticket sales models. Passengers used to have to hold a ticket in their hands before they could feel secure. Now, they can get on the train by swiping their ID card without needing anything after buying the ticket. ”

“We did a statistic. In December of the previous year, Beijing south railway station used about 3.2 million tickets in a month, but after the pilot project in November last year, the number of printed paper tickets was greatly reduced. From this small perspective, we can see that after the formal implementation of “e-ticket”, a lot of paper can be saved. ” Kang Shunxing said.
“From now on, there are no more than two situations in which paper tickets are needed. One is that passengers want to collect tickets, the other is that passengers have the demand for reimbursement. The rest of the passengers only need one ticket information sheet at most.” Kang Shunxing said that after the implementation of the “e-ticket”, the railway station will still retain the traditional ticket sales channels to meet the needs of different passengers.
The train ticket has been changing, but Kang Shunxing feels that there is something unchanged, “the train ticket is a contract. After a passenger buys a ticket, the railway department is responsible for ensuring the personal safety of the passenger on the train and is obliged to provide services for him. Today, the contract is electronic, but there will be no change in the railway sector’s ability to provide satisfactory services. ”
“From the first four tickets in a set to the present, there is no need for tickets at all. This is a leap forward change, which is also something that my old conductor never dreamed of at first.” “E-ticket is a change in line with the trend of the times, and we are looking forward to the further optimization and development of this way,” Kang said
Xu meihui, reporter of Beijing News