Train tickets for the return trip were not to be on sale until a few hours before departure. The sales agent kept saying: "no tickets. Information." What she meant was, "no tickets, reservations" which was cleared up by the Embassy. The train I wanted to get on was the Trans-Siberian (the earlier one was just Beijing-UB) and this multi-national endeavor has not figured out how to use modern IT so you are expected to queue and grab, just like it's always been done. I didn't want to risk the delay (I was wait-listed as no. 70) so I flew instead.