Number of railway passengers falls as festival starts
Updated: 2013-02-10 16:40
BEIJING - The number of railway passengers is expected to fall sharply to 2.39 million on Sunday, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Statistics from the Ministry of Railways indicate that the number of temporary trains in use will also fall to 109, including 30 long-distance trains and 79 regional trains.
On Saturday, railways handled 4,293 trains, including 224 temporary trains. The railway transportation system was in good order, carrying a total of 3.58 million passengers.
The ministry warned of two cold fronts set to hit China over the next two days. The fronts are expected to drop temperatures in north China by 4 to 6 degrees Celsius and bring sustained rain to south China, possibly affecting railway transportation.
Spring Festival marks the world's largest annual human migration. This year's peak travel season kicked off on January 26 and will last until March 6, with 3.41 billion trips expected.
He Jianzhong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, said previously that 840,000 coaches and 13,000 ships will carry up to 700,000 travelers daily during the travel rush.
China's airlines have increased their combined transport capacity to handle 35.5 million journeys during the rush, up 4.9 percent from the same period last year.
The country's rail network is expected to handle 225 million trips, while long-distance buses will transport up to 3.1 billion passengers.