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While most Chinese people are counting down to Spring Festival, a fair portion of them are counting the last days until the beginning of the Spring Festival travel rush.
Every year in the lead up to the Spring Festival which falls on January 23rd this year, hundreds of millions of Chinese make the journey back to their hometowns to reunite with families and friends to celebrate the lunar new year.
This year's travel rush is set to begin on January 8th and will last until February 16th. During those 40 days, the railways are expected to handle over 230 million travels. Despite efforts in boosting Chinese railways' transport capabilities in recent years, there still exists a gap between passenger demand and railway capacity during the spring rush.
Although the number of passenger trains has increased 29% from a little over 40,000 in 2003 to the current 52,000, the number of passengers, during the same period, has increased 51%.