SCIO press conference on making every effort to ensure sound transportation services during 2023 Spring Festival

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The Beijing News:

This year, some newly built railways will face the big test of the Spring Festival travel rush. What preparations have railway departments made? Can China's current railway capacity meet the demands of the Spring Festival travel rush this year? Thank you.

Huang Xin:

Thank you for your questions. This year's Spring Festival travel rush is the first after the central government optimized and adjusted the pandemic prevention policies, as pandemic prevention and control entered a new stage. Therefore, the population's travel demands may change significantly compared to previous years. The pre-sale of train tickets for the 2023 Spring Festival period started on Dec. 24, 2022. Looking at current ticket bookings, we have seen that travel demand in all aspects has increased significantly, and railway passenger flows are gradually recovering.

To properly ensure capacity for the Spring Festival travel rush, I mentioned earlier that we adhere to the principles of "adequate arrangement, on-demand activation, rapid response, and emergency preparedness," and the train operating plan has been arranged accordingly for the holiday travel rush. A daily maximum of 6,077 pairs of passenger trains will be put into operation during peak days before the holiday, with a seating capacity of 9.04 million passengers. Moreover, there will be a maximum of 6,107 pairs of trains per day after the holiday, with a seating capacity of 9.14 million people. Maximum seating capacity has increased by 11% compared with the same period in 2019, enabling us to better meet the travel demands of passengers during the Spring Festival travel rush. Regarding transportation capacity, we have prepared in three ways.

First, we will make good use of new lines, stations and equipment. Last year, 4,100 kilometers of new railway lines were put into operation nationwide, including 2,082 kilometers of high-speed railway. The accessibility and coverage of the railway network were further improved. During the Spring Festival travel rush, we will give full play to the advantages of our high-speed railway network. We will effectively use new lines and stations such as the Zhengzhou-Chongqing High-speed Railway, the Huzhou-Hangzhou High-speed Railway, the Yinchuan-Lanzhou High-speed Railway, the Beijing-Tangshan Intercity Railway, the new Chengdu-Kunming Railway, and Beijing Fengtai Railway Station, and advanced equipment such as the new Fuxing EMU trains. We will also make effective use of the 350-kilometer-per-hour speed achieved by the Beijing-Wuhan section of the Beijing-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, enabling us to enhance efficiency and improve capacity for the Spring Festival travel rush.

Second, we will expand transportation capacity in key regions and times. Before the festival, 1,623.5 pairs of direct passenger trains will run daily in the areas with concentrated passenger flows, including Beijing, the Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou region, and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen region, a year-on-year increase of 34.5 pairs. Meanwhile, 222 pairs of high-speed trains will run every night, a year-on-year increase of 25 pairs. After the holiday, 814.5 pairs of direct passenger trains will run daily in the cities of Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanchang, and Hunan province and other areas with concentrated passenger flows, a year-on-year increase of 18 pairs. Moreover, 135 pairs of high-speed trains will run each night, a year-on-year increase of 14 pairs. At the same time, we will maintain the necessary operation scale of normal-speed passenger trains, continue to run slow trains for public welfare, and ensure the travel needs of people in remote areas.

Third, we will establish an emergency response mechanism for unexpected passenger flows. We will analyze the patterns of passenger travel, study and assess the changing trend of passenger flows, adjust transport capacity at different stages, and achieve a good balance between transport capacity and demand according to pre-sale and waiting list data from ticket reservation website According to current ticket bookings, before the festival, the transportation capacity are relatively short for those traveling from the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta to the central and southwest regions. Therefore, we will adjust and supplement transportation capacity to meet the travel needs of passengers as much as possible. In order to cope with unexpected passenger flows, a certain number of EMUs and crew members will be on standby in major railway hubs for immediate deployment, ensuring we meet the travel demands of passengers. Thank you.

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