With Spring Festival still two months away, China is gearing up its railway network for an expected 143.9 million passengers, up 3.1 percent from the same period last year.
China's Ministry of Railways has identified a 40-day period -- from Jan. 14 to Feb. 22 -- as the peak travel season.
Daily passenger flow is expected to reach 3.6 million, an increase of 110,000 from 2004, said the ministry.
Chinese people celebrate the Lunal New Year, or the traditional Spring Festival by returning home for an annual family re-union. Every year the nation's transportation system is pushed to its limits as millions of Chinese flock back home and then return to their jobs over a two-week holiday period.
Trains, popular for their safety record and low costs, are the first choice for the majority of the holiday travelers, including many rural migrant workers and college students.
This year, the Railway Ministry will arrange 216 temporary express trains to cope with the passenger traffic.