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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Nationwide rush for home kicks off

By Xin Dingding and Xu Wei (China Daily)

08:21, January 09, 2012

A worker at Beijing Railway Station checks a passenger's ID and ticket as the Spring Festival travel season commenced on Sunday. (China Daily/Zou Hong)

BEIJING - The Spring Festival peak travel season started on Sunday with tens of millions of passengers, mainly migrant workers and college students, on the move in the world's largest seasonal migration.

It is estimated that the rail system will handle 235 million passenger trips in the 40 days, or 5.88 million passenger trips each day.

Some 34.88 million trips by air, and 2.85 billion road trips, will be made during the period.

The online train ticket system has been busy dealing with the huge demand to return home for the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar, a top railway official said.

The national train ticket website (www.12306.cn) received more than 1 billion hits daily from Jan 1-7, Hu Yadong, vice-minister of railways, said on Sunday.

"Some industry experts said the website may have set a record," he said, adding at least 10 million people registered at the website.

The annual 40-day travel rush lasts from Sunday to Feb 16 this year, with millions of travelers boarding public transport to journey across the country for Spring Festival celebrations.

Though the weeklong holiday officially begins on Jan 22 (the eve of the Spring Festival), demand for tickets is high for at least a couple of weeks in advance.

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