Stranded passengers at Guangzhou station evacuated
Updated: 2016-02-04 10:36
GUANGZHOU - Most of the 50,000 holiday travelers stranded by bad weather in and around Guangzhou railway station in south China have departed aboard trains thanks to authorities' evacuation efforts.
Fifty-five trains departed from Guangzhou Railway Station between 12 am to 8 am Wednesday, carrying a majority of the 50,000 passengers who were stranded at the station Tuesday night, the Guangzhou Railway Group said in a statement.
A small number of the stranded passengers accepted refunds and left, it said.
Meanwhile, railway authorities in Guangzhou added eight high-speed trains Wednesday in order to help people get away from Guangzhou ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday celebrations next week. Each of the trains carry about 1,100 passengers.
"These high-speed trains will continue to operate on Thursday, we are hoping to divert more passengers from Guangzhou ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year," said Chen Jianping, a spokesperson for the Guangzhou Railway Group.
Railway authorities have also arranged four short-distance trains from Wednesday to Saturday to transport passengers from Guangzhou Railway Station to the new southern station where all high-speed trains depart.
As the weather improved, most trains were punctual on Wednesday. About five trains were delayed for more than an hour, compared with 27 reported on Tuesday, he said.
As a result, the railway station was less crowded on Wednesday, with about 33,000 passengers in and around the station at 11 am, down from 50,000 at the same time Tuesday.
The average waiting time for check-in was about an hour, compared with 3.5 hours Monday and Tuesday.
The snow that hit central, eastern and southern China since Sunday disrupted the busiest travel time of the year. But railway authorities predicted traffic would return to normal in the coming two days as the weather improved and as the climax of the pre-holiday travel rush ended.
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