The prolonged snow, rain and cold weather have led to
train delays in central and southern China and stranded tens of
thousands of passengers.
Add expressway closures, flight cancellations and the relocation
of hundreds of thousands of people and it equates to one word -
A total of 136 electric passenger trains came to a standstill on
an artery railway in Hunan Province after power supplies were
damaged by snow and icy rain.
Technicians and workers with the Guangzhou Railway Group, the
operating firm, were using more than 100 diesel trains to pull the
electric locomotives carrying thousands of passengers from a
section that suffered a sudden drop in power, a company spokesman
About 40,000 passengers were stranded at stations along the
trunk line linking Beijing and Guangzhou in the south, he said.
Another 50,000 passengers were delayed at Guangzhou Railway
More than 10,000 technical workers are repairing power lines,
and trains scheduled to depart from Guangzhou have been
The company has sent employees with almost 10,000 kilograms of
rice, vegetables, meat, edible oil, 20,000 boxes of instant noodles
and drinking water to serve passengers aboard the stranded
"It seems I will spend my Spring Festival holiday at this
station," said a passenger from Chenzhou, Hunan Province, who
yesterday was delayed for several hours at Changsha Railway Station
along with 2,000 others. "The expressway was shut. I thought it
would be easier to go home by railway, but I never thought trains
could be delayed by snow."
Delays of up to nine hours at stations were also reported in
Kunming, in Yunnan Province, and Shenzhen, in Guangdong
Airports in Hunan and eastern Jiangsu, Anhui and Jiangxi
provinces as well as expressways have been closed.
About 9,900 vehicles are stranded on a highway in Guangdong's
Ruyuan County and more than 20,000 vehicles with 60,000 people
aboard are stuck near Hunan's Xiangtan City. Similar cases are also
reported in southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
January snow, the worst in 50 years in China's south, center and
east, has affected tens of millions of people, forced mass
relocations, led to power cuts, collapsed buildings, damaged crops
and left thousands of head of livestock dead.
Five people died in a snow-related accident in Hunan and three
in Guizhou Province.
Across the country, millions of people are trying to return home
for the Spring Festival.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2008)