China embraces post-holiday railway traffic boom

14:46, February 19, 2010      

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Passengers wait for trains at the Huaihua Railway Station in Huaihua City, central-south China's Hunan Province, Feb. 18, 2010. As the Spring Festival holidays will soon draw to an end, the railway system throughout China will meet a travel peak in the next two days as large number of travellers start their journey back to their workplaces. (Xinhua/Ding Yong)

China's railways are challenged by travel rush after the Spring Festival as millions of people begin to return to work after the festival holiday.

The country's railways served about 5.44 million passengers nationwide on Thursday, an increase of 12.5 percent over the same day last year, according to the Ministry of Railways Friday.

The ministry said the number of long-distance travellers increased markedly as more people decided to make an earlier return trip to avoid the traffic boom.

According to the ministry, railway transport went on smoothly so far with no complaints. The forecasted warm weather would also a good condition for railway transportation.

The ministry estimated before the Spring Festival that 210 million passengers will travel during the 40-day rush period beginning January 30, a 9.5 percent rise compared with a year earlier.

"The nation's railway departments introduced many measures this season to maximally ensure smooth transports of travellers, " said Gao Xiaobing, a department head of the MOR.

During the holiday period, 1,972.5 pairs of passenger trains were put into use every day on average, an increase of 156 pairs compared with the same period last year.

These trains served with an average daily transport capacity of 5.57 million people, an increase of 430,000 people compared with the same period last year, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, priority were given to students, olders, and people who need more services, to ensure that they will enjoy convenience when buying tickets, waiting trains, and during travelling.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, fell on Feb. 14 this year and is an important festival of family reunions.

Source: Xinhua
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