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No leniency for late train passengers: Ministry of Railways

12-02-2010 10:02 BJT

Railroad train passengers who miss a train for any reason are no longer eligible to exchange their tickets for another train, the Ministry of Railways said Wednesday.

The announcement triggered allegations that train passengers are being treated unfairly.

According to the regulation, which went into effect Wednesday, regular train passengers may not switch to another train if they show up two hours after the departure of their original reservation, the Beijing News reported Wednesday.

The regulation says passengers on regular trains have to make ticket changes before their departure time. Those who are ill could still change tickets for other trains two hours after departure time.

However, they must produce a hospital certificate and get approval from the train station chief.

The new regulations do not apply to passengers on the more expensive high-speed trains as they could still switch to other trains on the same day.

Some train passengers said the new regulation is unfair since it legalizes inequality between passengers on regular and high-speed trains.

"It is unfair to passengers. We never see railway authorities compensate passengers with tickets for trains that arrive two hours late," Zhang Xiang, a businessman who often travels between Beijing and Henan Province, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Cao Zhicun, a Beijing-based lawyer, told the Beijing News Wednesday that passengers and railway authorities have an obligation to each other. "Passengers who pay for their tickets won't deliberately arrive late for a train. The railway authorities should treat passengers equally," said Cao.

A person in the ministry's press office refused to comment when contacted by the Global Times Wednesday.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Global Times

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