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China launches 301 pairs of temporary direct trains for peak travel season
Updated: 2006-01-14 10:20

BEIJING, January 25 (Xinhua) -- A record 301 pairs of temporary trains will be launched on China's railways for the peak travel season, according to the Ministry of Railways here Friday.

Hu Yadong, vice minister of Railways, said at a press conference on national transportation for the lunar new year that this is 59 pairs more than that for last year's festival, up 24 percent.

China has identified a 40-day period -- from January 14 to February 22 -- as the peak travel season, while the Spring festival falls on January 29.

People around China celebrate the Spring Festival as a special occasion for family reunions. For years, the nation's transportation system has been strained during the season, as millions of migrant workers and other Chinese flock back home and then return to the work place in just two weeks.

The ministry said as the lunar Spring Festival comes not more than one month after the New Year's day, most of the Chinese, including students, migrant workers and other staffs will visit their homes in this short period.

During the 40 days, the ministry predicted that a total of 141 million people will take trains, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, among which direct passengers account for 63.75 million, up by 7 percent.

The ministry predicted that the passenger flow will get its before-festival peak of 3.55 million from January 25 to 26, 130,000 passengers more than the same period last year, up 3.8 percent.

After the festival, the traffic volume of migrant workers, travelers and short-distance passengers will also increase for the reason that most other people have to go to work before the eighth or sixteenth day of the lunar new year.

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