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More train seats still no remedy for holiday travel

By Jin Jianyu   (Global Times)

08:24, December 14, 2011

China's railways will carry about 235 million passengers during the upcoming 40-day Spring Festival season this year, up 6.1 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Railways. (Xinhua file photo)

China's railway transport capacity around the upcoming Spring Festival is to hit a record high, about 25 percent above the normal rate. However, it will still be unable to remedy ticket shortages during the holiday travel rush according to railway officials.

Hu Yadong, deputy minister of the Ministry of Railways (MOR), said the recording-breaking overall transport capacity before the upcoming Spring Festival travel season (Chunyun), which begins on January 8, 2012, will reach approximately 4.8 million daily, a 25 percent increase from the ordinary standard.

Xia Xueluan, a sociology professor at Peking University, told the Global Times on Tuesday the increase in transport capacity could help lift travel woes to some extent. However, it cannot still solve the problem as the current capacity will not be able to accommodate the demand.

Xia said passenger flow will increase as a combined result of the overlapping rush of migrant workers, students, and millions of others racing home to be with their families for the Chinese Lunar New Year, which is earlier than usual as it falls on January 23, 2012.

China’s railways will carry about 235 million passengers during the upcoming 40-day Spring Festival season, up 6.1 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the MOR.

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