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China Pledges More Trains for Travel Rush

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China will deploy more trains and intensify its crackdown on train-ticket scalping during the the upcoming 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, when hundreds of millions return to their hometowns for family reunions, the Minister of Railways said Saturday.

Liu Zhijun told a briefing the ministry will increase transportation capacities with the greatest efforts, to ensure people's trips during the travel rush.

The Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 3 this year, is the most important traditional Chinese festival for family reunions. This year's holiday travel peak will be from Jan. 19 to Feb. 27.

Some 230 million trips will be made on China's railway system during the period, up 12.5 percent year on year, according to estimates. Another 2.62 billion trips will be made on other means of transportation, up 11.6 percent.

The ministry will run an extra 293 trains per day during the rush period, bringing the average daily number of trains to 2265.5. The trains will carry 6.2 million passengers per day, up 12.5 percent year on year.

Liu pledged the ministry will add police to crack down on train ticket scalping. Trials of the real-name ticket selling system will be expanded to prevent ticket scalping, Liu added.

He voiced concern that freezing weather may cause transportation problems during the period.

He said the ministry has drawn up emergency response plans in case bad weather disrupts transportation.

Liu said railway authorities will ensure the transportation of goods - including coal, oil and grain - to meet people's needs during the holiday season.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2011)

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