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Delayed Trains Back on Track in Guangzhou
More than 7,000 passengers were delayed in Guangzhou Railway Station by electrical problems on the network Wednesday morning.

The delayed passenger trains gradually left Guangzhou for their destinations by noon Wednesday, according to a station official.

The chaos began at Guangzhou Railway Station, one of the biggest railway stations in China, at 11 am on Tuesday when service on the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway Line was suspended because of a lack of electricity at the Shaoguan-Changsha Section.

The official said normal railway service at Guangzhou station was disrupted for more than three hours before the power came back on in the crippled section at about 2 pm.

The incident was one of the most serious suspensions of railway service caused by an interruption in electricity supply, the official said.

"But the interruption, which is still under investigation, had little effect on railway service on the Guangzhou-Kowloon line, or the trains that operate on the Beijing-Kowloon railway track," the official said.

Passenger trains that operate between Guangzhou and Shenzhen and Hong Kong arrived and departed as usual over the past two days, the official added.

At least 10 passenger trains heading north from Guangzhou station were delayed.

The station had to refund tickets on Tuesday and Wednesday. By yesterday morning, Guangzhou Railway Station had refunded about 1,000 tickets valued at about 200,000 yuan (US$24,100), the official said.

Seven arriving trains were also affected. Two were delayed for more than five hours and another one for as long as nine hours.

The affected arriving trains mainly came from Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Changsha, Hengyang and Chongqing.

The arrival gate was crowded by people who wanted to meet their friends and relatives.

Chen Lifeng, who went to meet his friend from Zhengzhou, said he waited for more than seven hours at the station's arrival gate on Tuesday before he saw him.

Railway staff and police made efforts to help the passengers hit by the delay and tried to ensure order in station area.

Staff from Guangzhou Railway Station has promised to provide better service to passengers during the coming peak traffic period.

(China Daily December 19, 2002)

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