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Power shortage delays 136 passenger trains
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As of 4:00 a.m. Saturday 136 electric passenger trains were delayed on an artery railway in central China as local power supply system had been damaged by continuous snowfall and icy rain.

Technicians and workers with the Guangzhou Railway Group Corp., which the trains belong to, were using diesel locomotives to pull the electric locomotives and carry tens of thousands of passengers out of the section in Hunan Province that suffered brownout in the overhead power lines, a company spokesman said on Saturday.

The snow-ravaged trunk railway links Beijing and southern Chinese metropolitan of Guangzhou.

"We will do our best to resume the traffic as soon as possible," he said.

But he could not provide a specific number of passengers aboard the affected trains and stranded at different railways stations.

Snowfalls have been hitting China's southern, central and eastern areas since mid-January, posing great challenge to the country's transportation system, according to meteorological authorities.

Heavy snows, which started in the central and eastern areas since Jan. 18, have led to expressway closures, flight cancellations and hoards of passengers swarming into railway stations.

Tens of millions of people trying to return home for the Spring Festival, the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year that falls on Feb. 7 this year, have put more pressure on the country's transportation system.

(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2008)

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