China / Society

High-speed lines to ease holiday rush home

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-23 07:36

The launch in December of high-speed rail lines linking Guangzhou with Nanning and Guiyang should make it easier for millions of migrant workers to travel home to Southwest China during Spring Festival this year.

In the past, even with extra trains running on ordinary rail lines during the period, demand still outstripped supply, with not enough trains to get everyone home.

The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guizhou province, where Nanning and Guiyang are located, supply 14 million migrant workers to Guangzhou, according to Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corp.

Guangdong has the most migrant workers, with 16.54 million from outside the province and 10.48 million within the province in 2013, according to the Guangdong Human Resources and Social Security Department. Southwest China's Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality are home to millions more.

All of this means millions of people will be on the move during the Spring Festival rush period, known as chunyun.

This year, high-speed railways will play a major role in getting them home, moving more than half the passengers traveling with Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corp, said Zeng Yong of the company's publicity department.

It is estimated that the group's 10 high-speed rail routes will transport 22.11 million passengers during the period. They will be carried on 579 return routes operating each day during the peak days of the holiday.

As a prelude to chunyun, the eight high-speed lines of Guangzhou Railway carried a record 5.83 million passengers during the weeklong National Day holiday in October.

The new high-speed rail lines are also expected to change the picture at iconic Guangzhou Railway Station, which has drawn some of the country's biggest passenger crowds during chunyun for years. This year the Guangzhou South Railway Station, the high-speed rail hub, will grab a larger share of passengers.

Train trips in Guangzhou are expected to total 11.3 million during this year's travel rush, up 7.6 percent year-on-year, according to the chunyun office in Guangzhou.

The office has this year canceled the enormous temporary waiting rooms at China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex, used passengers during the rush since 2009. The travelers used to be carried by a special subway line service to Guangzhou Railway Station to catch their trains.

Wu Yuyu contributed to this story.


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