Chinese railway carried a record of 196 million passengers during the Spring Festival travel season, an increase of 11.8 percent over the same period a year ago, said the Ministry of Railway in Beijing on Sunday.
Spring Festival is a traditional occasion for family reunion, particularly for millions of China's migrant workers, who take up the dirtiest and cheapest jobs in cities and leave their families behind in the countryside.
The travel season, or Chunyun during the Chinese Lunar New Year, is an annual test to China's transportation system. This year, Chunyun lasted 45 days and the traffic peak hit more than five million passengers.
During the Chunyun, the Chinese railway network was challenged by unprecedented snow havoc, said the ministry.
For example, the ministry transported some 3.5 million stayed passengers in ten days in Guangzhou, capital of China's southern Guangdong province.
China was hit by the worst snow and sleet havoc in 50 years during the Chunyun, which cut off traffic and caused millions to stay in the railway stations.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2008)