Ministry of Railways Takes Steps to Ease Spring Festival Travel

The Ministry of Railways of China has worked out three viable transport plans meant to ensure safe and fast transportation service during the Spring Festival period, said ministry sources Thursday.

The "Spring Season Transport", as it is usually called, includes floods of transient laborers and college students returning home during their winter vacation.

The coming spring season for the railways will start on January 28 and end on March 8, according to the ministry.

The ministry predicts that during the 2002 40-day peak season, the railway sector will handle 130 million passengers, 3.2 million more than last year's figure.

In the days running up to Spring Festival, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai will have the most passengers, while after the festival, more passengers will flow to Zhengzhou, Nanchang Shanghai, and Chengdu, according to the ministry.

In addition, the ministry has organized a Spring Season Transport Group headed by Minister of Railways Fu Zhihuan, to oversee transportation work during the Spring Festival period.

So far, the ministry has invested 210 million yuan for the renovation of 16,000 passenger trains, accounting for 44 percent of all passenger trains in China.

The ministry has also checked and repaired railway lines, bridges and signal lights and engines, and also took strict measures to prevent any dangerous goods from being smuggled onto the trains during the upcoming peak travel season.

( People's Daily January 11, 2002)