China's Ministry of Railways said Friday the country's trains carried 1.39 billion tons of freight in the first half of this year, up 6.3 percent from the same period last year.
The railways also recorded 620 million passenger journeys, up 8.4 percent from the first half of 2005, including 240 million middle or long distance trips, the ministry said.
The rail transport of goods like coal and petroleum made an important contribution to economic growth, said the ministry.
The railways carried increased amounts of coal, up 48.55 million tons to 664.95 million tons; petroleum, up 4.25 million tons to 76.98 million tons; and chemical fertilizers and pesticides, up 2.4 million tons to 42.73 million tons in the first half.
The Datong-Qinhuangdao railway carried 123.98 million tons of coal, up 27.2 percent, and the Houma-Yueshan railway carried 50.05 million tons, up 9.1 percent.
China's railways handle a quarter of world's rail traffic on just six percent of world's track.