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Annual Spring Festival peak travel season begins in China


Source: | 01-11-2009 09:36

China's annual Spring Festival peak travel season begins on Sunday. The Ministry of Railways says the country's rail network is ready for the expected surge in passenger numbers. The Lunar New Year falls earlier than usual this year, and the travel peak is expected to last longer than most years.

Passengers enter the Nanjing Railway Station in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Jan. 8, 2009. During the Spring Festival travel period this year, known as Chunyun in Chinese, more than 6.19 million person-time is expected to depart from Nanjing, over 2.71 million of whom would depart by train, according to the Chunyun Affairs Office of Nanjing on Jan. 1.

Passengers enter the Nanjing Railway Station in Nanjing, 
capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Jan. 8, 2009.

This year's Spring Festival travel period will last for forty days -- from January 11th to February 19th, with the Chinese New Year beginning on January 26th. 188 million journeys are expected by train, up 8 percent on the same period last year.

Wang Yongping, Spokesman of the Ministry Of Railways, said: "The railways are anticipating a difficult job dealing with the spring festival travel rush. Before the lunar new year, big cities in coastal areas will see most passengers, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou. After the new year, inland areas such as Chengdu, Wuhan, Nanchang and Hefu, will be the busiest cities."

The heaviest travel peak will run from January 21st to 24th, as people rush home for celebrations on New Year's Eve -- January 25th.

During this period, students on winter vacation, migrant workers returning home and people visiting relatives will put great pressure on transport links.

To help ease the strain, the Ministry of Railways says it will run 1,400 extra pairs of trains on the busiest railroads. It will also add special services for students and migrant workers, as well as temporary services for travellers with emergency situations.

The ministry reminds passengers that they can make complaints at any time if they encounter problems during their trip.


Editor:Shi Taoyang