China's railways had their busiest season in January, as millions of people returned home for the traditional Spring Festival.
The railway passenger total hit 133 million for the month, an increase of 11.8 percent over the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Railways (MOR).
In the first 21 days of the 40-day holiday rush from Jan. 11, 93.61 million people traveled by train, a daily volume of 4.46 million on average, up 15.4 percent over the same period last year.
Extra trains were rostered for traffic hubs and densely populated regions.
The MOR warned that the railways are expected to face even bigger challenges in Feb., when more people will return to work from home towns by train.
Railways carried 105 million passengers in the first 23 days by Monday, up 14.7 percent over the same period last year.
Wuhan, Nanchang, Chengdu, Changsha, Fuyang and Hefei cities are among the major bottlenecks, as they are home to millions of migrant workers. The ministry pledged more trains for those regions.
Meanwhile, the country's travelers total is expected to be 60.61 million on Tuesday, representing an increase of 3 percent over the same day last year. Among the total, the waterway travelers total may hit 1.26 million, up 3 percent over the same day last year.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2009)