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Delayed Railway Travelers Get Back on the Right Track
Thousands of rail passengers stranded after key rail links were severed by floods in South China are back on the move.

In Shanghai, all cargo trains have been stopped and five passenger services -- K34, 1478, 2106, 5106 and 5030 -- are still unavailable, while 10 other passenger trains have been restored after being stopped by the floods, according to the Shanghai Railway Administration.

Up to 50,000 travellers were delayed, but most of them have now resumed their journeys.

The administration has called on people planning to travel north to pay attention to the latest flood information displayed at the city's two main railway stations.

Hit by rainstorms in the area of the Huaihe River and the Yangtze River since the morning of July 5, sections of the railway line from Chuzhou to Danzi and Danzi to Wuyi in Anhui Province collapsed and railroad of 15.4 kilometres was flooded.

To minimize the impact of the flood, the rail schedule was adjusted accordingly.

Fifteen passengers trains have been diverted across the Wuhu Yangtze Bridge which is part of Jingjiu Railroad (Beijing to Jiujiang line) from the normal route on the Jinghu Railroad (Beijing to Shanghai line.)

The Jinpu Railroad (Tianjin to Pukou in Nanjing) has resumed operations with an 80 kilometres per hour speed limit on the section from Chuzhou to Danzi and speed limits as low as 25 kilometres per hour are in force on the section from Wuyi to Danzi.

By press time, these trains have basically resumed operations thanks to the effort of 20,000 railway workers, soldiers of the People's Liberation Army and armed police.

The land passenger route to Mengcheng in Anhui Province has resumed after the weekend stoppage due to flooding.

Air transportation is recovering after SARS, but it is hard to say if the 90 per cent occupancy rate on flights to Hefei in Anhui and Xuzhou in Jiangsu in recent days was a direct result of the flooded railroad, according to the marketing department of Shanghai Airlines.

In Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, the downpour over the last three days drenched a few major streets in the city, disrupting public transport for hours.

Because of the railway damage in some areas in Anhui Province, 16 northbound trains have stopped operations in the last three days, delaying over 10,000 passengers at Nanjing railway station. It is reported that in the next two days, another 15 northbound trains will not operate until the railway is repaired.

(China Daily July 8, 2003)

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