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Over 20 mln people travel by train during New Year holiday

(Xinhua)

14:10, January 04, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- More than 20 million people hit the rails during the past three-day New Year holiday, up 2.2 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Railways said Wednesday.

In order to accommodate travelers' needs, 529 temporary trains were put into service during the holiday, which lasted from Sunday to Tuesday, representing a rise of 349 trains from one year earlier, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The country sold 24.66 million train tickets during the holiday, of which, 23.4 percent were sold via Internet and phone.

From late December, travelers were able buy tickets for all trains from an online ticketing system, which was designed to facilitate the ticket purchasing process.

However, some passengers complained about the instability of the system, as it at times failed to issue tickets that had already been paid for.

The ministry said the system had a 30-minute limit for payment processing, with tickets returned to the purchasing pool after the time limit was up.

The ministry said the time limit was extended to 45 minutes starting Saturday, and suggested travelers try other means if they are unable to book tickets online.

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