The Ministry of Railways (MOR) announced on Monday it estimates 21.6 million passengers will travel by train from April 3-6 during the Tomb-Sweeping Day Holiday. The projected number is a 12 percent increase year-on-year and a 40 percent rise on a regular basis.
Tomb-Sweeping Day, a traditional Chinese holiday on which people go to cemeteries to remember the departed, falls on April 4 this year. The holiday will last from April 4-6.
After amendments to the one-week May Day Golden Week, Tomb-Sweeping Day became a statutory public holiday last year and led to a travel peak during that period. An MOR official predicts there would also be a travel peak during this year's Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday.
A new national railway route plan, which starts on April 1 this year, will help improve the rail sector's passenger capacity with express trains.
In the Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday transportation plan, the MOR will give priority to main inter-city trips or those that leave in the evening and arrive in the morning.
Short and medium-distance express trains in East China and in Northeast China will be added. There will also be more high-speed bullet trains from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, from Beijing to Tianjin and from Qingdao to Jinan.
During this year's Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday, main railway stations like those in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenyang will monitor the train traffic flow and will add trains correspondingly.
During the holiday, ticket windows in main railway stations will be open 24 hours a day and an electronic board will show if there are any seats left to save time for those wanting to buy tickets.
More round-trip tickets will be for sale as well as connecting tickets covering two or more express distances.