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Chinese railways carry more passengers, freight in first half
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08:21, July 11, 2007

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Chinese railways carried 1.53 billion tons of freight in the first half of 2007, up 10.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Railways on Tuesday.

Coal freight surged 13.3 percent to 750 million tons and oil rose 1.7 percent to 77 million tons.

The first six months also saw a total of 648 million passengers travel by train, up 5.4 percent year-on-year, said the ministry.

The ministry credited the higher transportation figures to the train "speed boost" in April.

On April 18, the country boosted its railway speed for the sixth time and 286 trains now run at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

From April 18 to June 18, railways nationwide carried 526 million tons of freight and 218 million passengers, up 7.7 percent and 4.7 percent respectively from a year earlier.

China plans to put more than 500 high-speed trains into operation by the end of the year and expects to increase passenger capacity on the nation's 77,000-km of railway routes by 18 percent and freight capacity by 12 percent, according to the ministry.

In 2006, China made up a quarter of the world's total railway transport volume, even though its total track was only 6 percent of the world total.

Source: Xinhua

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