With tears in her eyes, a woman runs to catch
the train at Guangzhou railway station yesterday that will finally
take her home for Spring Festival. The Beijing-Guangzhou trunk
railway is gradually resuming operations after widespread
disruptions and power shortages caused by the snowy weather. Liu
Railway officials yesterday vowed to transport all passengers
stranded in Guangdong province back to their families before the
eve of the lunar new year on Wednesday.
Ministry of Railways spokesman Wang Yongping said in an online
interview yesterday about 2 million passengers needed to be
transported back in five days.
"We will operate 400 trains on the Beijing-Guangzhou and
Beijing-Kowloon lines each day starting today, so that 400,000
passengers can leave the province each day," he said.
The north-south arterial railway between Beijing and Guangzhou
had been paralyzed for close to a week after heavy snow and ice
disrupted power supplies.
The railway resumed operations on Wednesday evening following
repairs to the network, officials said.
By yesterday morning, 51 passenger trains started running again
toward the northern regions and 43 heading south resumed
operations, the ministry said.
The ministry has also arranged for more detours on disrupted
lines, with 436 trains carrying more than 900,000 passengers taking
other routes by Wednesday evening.
Crowds remain at Guangzhou railway station but they are said to
be in reasonable spirits.
"The order in the square of the station has improved a lot,
compared with two days ago," Liu Quanjin, a migrant worker from
Sichuan province, told China Daily yesterday.
After being stuck at the station for two days, Liu, his wife and
4-year-old daughter boarded their train yesterday and headed back
home for the lunar new year.
Railway stations in the province, which stopped selling tickets
on Jan 24 because of the disruptions, will resume sales soon,
At Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, normal operations are
resuming with fewer flights cancelled or delayed, officials said
More than 50,000 passengers had left Guangzhou for their homes
as of yesterday, according to airport figures.
Almost all highways closed due to snow reopened yesterday,
except for those in Guizhou province, officials said.
One section of the Beijing-Zhuhai highway in Hunan province
reopened, but the section in the northern part of Guangdong remains
blocked, the Ministry of Communications said.
Vehicles were encouraged to take an alternate route through the
neighboring Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to Guangdong.
Passage fees on a detour route will be exempted, the authorities
(China Daily February 1, 2008)