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Travel Rush Arrives Early

The Railway Ministry has decided to open additional ticket sales outlets and dispatch more trains ahead of schedule for holidaymakers after Guangdong and some other regions reported a travel rush earlier than previous years.

Since Thursday, railway stations in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan have seen a surge in the number of passengers heading home for the Spring Festival holiday from Jan. 22 to 29.

Beijing and Shanghai has also reported a surge of travelers.

In Shenzhen, authorities announced the addition of 50 ticket windows, raising the number to 100, at a temporary outlet at Shenzhen Stadium. The outlet will begin selling tickets Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule.

In Guangzhou, the railway company added 150 temporary ticket windows Sunday, three days earlier than scheduled. Officials said 130,000 people were expected to leave railway stations in the city Sunday, double the number of passengers in normal times.

Officials said a government campaign to help migrant workers get back overdue pay was one of the reasons for the early travel rush this year.

Another reason was travelers wanted to hit the road before Jan. 14, when higher train fares were scheduled to become effective.

(Shenzhen Daily January 5, 2004)

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