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Festival witnesses huge passenger flows
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China's transport sector has witnessed huge passenger flows in the days ahead of the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on January 26 this year.

The Ministry of Transport estimated there were 63.4 million trips on Saturday alone, an increase of 2 percent over the same day last year.

Railways have seen a significant rise of passengers before the Spring Festival. On Wednesday, more than 4.95 million people traveled by train, up 21.9 percent compared with the same period last year. On Thursday, the number stood at 4.87 million, up 20.1 percent. On Friday, the number exceeded 4.9 million again, up 21.1 percent.

Beijing West Railway Station, Shanghai Station and Guangzhou Station, three busiest railway stations in China, witnessed 249,000, 206,000, and 149,000 passengers on Friday alone.

The Spring Festival travel rush, or Chunyun, starts from January 11 this year and will last 40 days till February 19, including 15 days before the Spring Festival, and 25 days after.

Transport authorities estimated there would be 2.32 billion trips during the travel rush, which would be a 5 percent rise from last year. The railway sector is expected to serve 188 million passengers, up 8 percent year on year.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2009)

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