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Railway Traffic Will Hit New High
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China's railway sector has geared up to deal with heavy passenger traffic during the upcoming National Day Holiday period. 41 million people are expected to be on the move, up 2.56 million on the same period of last year.

Forty-two pairs of special tourist trains and 54 pairs of provisional direct trains will provide extra services from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7 to deal with the traffic surge, spokesman Wang Yongping of the Ministry of Railways said here on Friday.

He said that trunk lines, lines between large and medium-sized cities and lines linking metropolises with tourist spots would be the busiest.

The busiest city terminals would be Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Xi'an, Chengdu, Nanjing, Harbin, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Kunming, Dalian, Suzhou and Guilin, Wang said.

Given that this Year's Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Oct. 6, more people will travel to visit their families and most tourists will set off earlier this year.

Traffic flow is expected to peak on Oct. 1, probably at 4.5 million, close to the average daily peak during the Spring Festival or China's Lunar New Year.

The ministry has urged local departments to ensure safe transport during the holiday season, giving priority to direct tourist trains, special trains and middle and long distance travelers, Wang said.

In 2000, China lengthened its three major public holidays, the Spring Festival, May Day and National Day, from three days to seven days. This has created so-called "golden weeks," when people can travel nationwide to sightsee or be with their families.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2006)

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