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Weather puts rail system to test (2)

By Xin Dingding (China Daily)

08:33, January 16, 2012

The Ministry of Railways confirmed train services were interrupted, blaming the technical problems on the weather.

"The influence of rainy and misty weather reduced the electrical insulation on the high-voltage equipment on the roof of a Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train, causing circuit breakers on the electrical supply to jump and the high-voltage equipment on the high-speed train to switch off as a safeguard, resulting in delays to a number of trains," the ministry said.

The incident came only hours after Minister of Railways Sheng Guangzu got on a train at Shanghai Hongqiao train station for an inspection tour during the Lunar New Year travel rush, which started on Jan 8.

Separately, on Jan 11, a high-speed train from Changsha to Guangzhou needed repairs soon after departure due to problems with its electrical equipment.

Another high-speed train running south on the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway halted on the same day, just a couple of hours earlier, because a passenger who smoked triggered a smoke alarm on the train, causing at least 20 trains to be delayed.

Many travelers felt angry and worried, especially following a year when the railway authority was under intense criticism due to the fatal Wenzhou crash in July.

A micro-blogger with the username Konglaoshi, who was on the G117 train that stopped twice en route to Shanghai on Saturday, said no crew showed up to offer information or reassurance.

Many netizens who have bought high-speed train tickets prayed for good weather for their holiday trips.

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