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Online train ticket service hits the rails

Update: December, 12/2014 - 08:53
A commuter seeks his train ticket via the new site — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Passengers are finding it difficult to buy train tickets for the upcoming Tet holidays despite improvements in online booking services.

This year, for the first time, passengers can buy tickets online for all routes on, which accepts cards issued by 24 local banks.

Last year, the booking website required passengers to open an account to make bookings and the system only accepted cards of one bank.

However, many passengers still cannot buy tickets. HCM City University of Pedagogy student Truong Thi Quynh Nhu wanted to book a ticket to central Quang Nam Province, but she had to buy a ticket to nearby Hue instead because the tickets she wanted were already sold out.

Then she found that she could not actually buy the ticket online and had to buy it at the station. When she got there, she was informed that she must send a text message to get a waiting number for tickets.

Even those who managed to get waiting numbers were not so lucky as all of the seats in the station were occupied. Tran Van Linh, a customer in Thu Duc District, said he had waited for hours to get his ticket.

"I don't know if I can get a good seat," he said.

Station head Nguyen Van Thanh admitted that the online system still had problems.

He said passengers should buy tickets at the station if the system did not work.

Nguyen Huu Tuyen, head of Vietnam Railway Corporation's Transport Business Unit, blamed technical problems for passengers' difficulties.

More than 138,840 tickets have been sold in the last three weeks. There are about 15,000 tickets available for long routes (800 km or more) for the ten days before Tet. — VNS

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