China has launched its first real-name railway ticket system as a pilot project in South China for the upcoming 40-day Spring Festival peak.

The system has begun with ticket sales that require passengers to show their identity cards or other identification documents while buying tickets at 37 stations in the southern Guangdong and Hunan provinces, as well as the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The new system is mainly aimed at curbing unauthorised sales of railway tickets by scalpers as well as ensuring convenient and fairer ticket sales.

The system is expected to serve nearly 210 million passengers, 9.5% more than last year, during the ‘Exodus’ festival rush from the end of January until the end of March.