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Week's special: Summer peak transportation of rails
 

Topic: summer peak and motor train unit
Chinese version: click here
Guest: Wang Yongping, spokesman with the Ministry of Railway.
Date: July 26, 2007
Host: Strong China Forum

Ticket availability still a problem

In China, there are two peaks of passenger flow every year: Spring Festival and summer vacation. During traditional Chinese Spring Festival, people working outside their hometowns tend to be back home to get together with their families. While on summer vacation, the main passengers are students. So in each period, the heavy passenger flow has posed great challenges to the transportation departments, especially the railway.

In this summer, it is still difficult to get a train ticket even after China has increased its train speed to the minimum of 200 kilometers per hour. Wang Yongping has given his reasons and analysis.

First on this summer vacation, the passenger flow is not lower than that of Spring Festival and even higher sometimes. On July 14, the passenger volume has reached 4.327 million, a growth of 15.2% over that of the same day of last year. Besides, the nation-wide floods this year has also caused railroad breakdown.

Wang said that the difficulty in buying tickets in peak seasons, including the Spring Festival, summer vacation and two "Golden Weeks" ( Labour Day Holidays and the National Day Holidays) would remain in the near future before new lines were put into operation.

Price and services

Wang confirmed there was no application from the Railway Ministry for a price hike during the summer peak.

Discounts of tickets of high-speed bullet trains can be offered. For example, the train between Beijing and Shanghai and the train between Shanghai and Nanjing have 30 percent to 10 percent discounts.

Tibetan mineral water is available on railway stations, bus stations, railway hotels, trains. From August 1, the water will be offered free to passengers on long distance bullet trains.

The Railway Ministry is considering to link Zhengzhou, Henan Province and Shanghai with bullet trains.

In the case of trains traveling behind schedule, rail stations and trains are required to inform, without delay, passengers of the information and the cause and apologize for that.

As of Sept. 1 this year, Executive Rules of Emergency Rescue, Investigation and Handling of Railway Accident will be effective. It defines the accident reporting, rescue, investigation, compensation and legal responsibilities of railway accidents.

Capacity

A total of 3,815 temporary trains have been added since the summer peak began. Capacity of motor trains back and forth Beijing and Tianjin has doubled.

328 bullet trains are running in railways and the number will be increased to 514 at the end of this year. The booking rate of the bullet trains has reached 119%.

Bad weather is the main reason for the delay of trains. Line construction or equipment breakdown is another reason. During the peak periods, sometimes it takes longer time for passengers to get on or get off trains. That also causes delay.

Since July, the departure punctuality rate of passenger trains reached 99.7 percent and the arrival punctuality stayed at 98.7 percent. For bullet trains, the figures are 99.9 percent and 99 percent respectively.

By People's Daily Online

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