China braces for Spring Festival return travel

Updated: 2012-01-27 00:03


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BEIJING - Railway terminals in major Chinese cities are braced for a new travel rush, as millions of travelers are returning to city work near the end of the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

The country's railway authority said that it put 514 more trains into service on Thursday to cope with Lunar New Year travel demand, compared with 315 on Wednesday.

About 4.5 million passengers hit the rails on Wednesday, up from 3.7 million on Tuesday, the Ministry of Railways said in a statement on its website.

The ministry said it expected a post-festival travel peak on Friday and reminded travelers to pay close attention to updates on ticket information.

The country's trains carried a total of 83.46 million passengers from Jan 8 to 22, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The 40-day Spring Festival travel season kicked off on Jan 8 this year, with hundreds of millions of people, mainly migrant workers and college students, heading home for the most important festival in China.

A total of 3.16 billion passenger trips are expected during the year's travel rush, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier. Of those journeys, 235 million are likely to be made by train, up 6.1 percent year-on-year.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Jan 23 this year.

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