China's rail systems must place priority on providing safe and sound transport during the coming Olympic Games, boosting passenger flow this summer, the Ministry of Railways said Monday.
Railway transport must be "absolutely safe" during the Games, the ministry said in a statement on its website, urging officials to learn from a deadly train accident earlier this year in east China.
A high-speed train from Beijing to the coastal city of Qingdao derailed and crashed into another train in Shandong Province on April 29, killing 71 passengers and injuring 416 others.
The country's railways would carry 283.4 million passengers from July 1 to Aug. 31, 25.3 million more than the same period last year, said the ministry.
It said passenger flow to six Olympic host cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao and Qingdao, especially on the Beijing-Tianjin and Beijing-Shanghai routes, would sharply rise during the games.
Plenty of tickets would be reserved in advance and special windows would be opened at involved railway stations for travelers heading for the Olympic venues, it said.
High-speed lines will have more stops with their timetables adjusted for the needs of Olympic trips.
Meanwhile, the ministry ordered efforts to prevent flood-triggered geological disasters from endangering the railways, saying the recent heavy rains in south China and more frequent landslides in quake zones were all "extremely serious threats" to rail safety.