Launching of Official App for Train Ticket Purchasing Postponed

China’s Ministry of Railway has promised Chinese train travelers a new way to buy their tickets – with an application on their smart phones. The launching of the software, however, has been again delayed, this time by two months.

Known as “Palm 12306,” the new app allows users to search train schedules, book tickets, and make payments. The ministry currently uses the number 12306 a phone number as well as a web site by which train tickets can be bought.

In the meantime, numerous unofficial 12306 apps have emerged, with promises that they work as well as the official software that has yet to appear. However, railway officials have warned that these unauthorized apps can only be used to search train schedules and ticket availability, and that claims for the ability to make purchases are false.