Chinese railways had carried 24.47 million passengers during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, the Ministry of Railways said on Wednesday.
The figure was a bit smaller than 26 million-plus recorded during the same holiday last year, as rail transport in many parts of the country had been hampered by the worst winter storms in half a century.
Passengers wait to buy train tickets at the railway station of Jinan, capital city of east China's Shandong Province, Feb. 13. The start of China's post-Spring Festival travel peak proved a relatively smooth affair as no major traffic problems were reported on Tuesday at a time when millions were returning to their place of work.
However, passenger flow reached a historic high of 5.01 million on Feb. 12, the last day of the weeklong holiday, despite the storms which could have postponed rail trips of many people.
In the meantime, railways across the country transported 61.38 million tons of cargo in the seven days, 24 percent more than 49.34 million in the corresponding period last year, as the country geared up efforts to ensure transport of disaster-relief goods, especially shipment of power-use coal.
Chinese railways transported 43,000 shipments of power-use coal every day during the past week, up more than 50 percent year on year.
Reserves of coal for power generation increased 800,000 tons to 23.1 million tons on Sunday, equaling 12 days' supply for the country's power plants, an increment of four days' supply than on Feb. 1.
The railways also transported a total of 36,184 shipments of grain and other foodstuff during the Spring Festival holiday.
Meanwhile, the Chinese civil aviation administration said on Wednesday that domestic airlines operated 29,400 flights to carry 3.7 million passengers during the holiday, which were about the same number of passengers in the corresponding period last year.
Chinese travelers also made an estimated 235 million bus trips during the same holiday, the Ministry of Communications said on Tuesday, while another 6.15 million made water trips during the seven days.
(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)