China's railway passenger traffic sets new daily record

The number of passengers traveling on China's railway set a new daily record on Oct.1 driven by holiday makers and improved rail transport capacity, railway authorities said Saturday.

Daily railway passenger traffic on Friday hit 8.3 billion riders, up 19.8 percent year on year and overtaking the daily record of 7.1 billion set on May 1 during the Labor Day holiday, the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said.

Friday's figure also outnumbered the previous day by 1.8 million, the MOR said.

Over the past four days more than 24 million people in China chose to travel by train, which is 10.3 percent higher than the figure during the same period last year, said the ministry.

Thanks to China's increased transport capacity, stemming partially from high-speed railway construction, railway authorities managed to meet the travel demands of holiday makers, which are dominated by travelers and those who were returning home.

China's weeklong National Day holiday begins on Friday.

China has 7,055 kilometers of high-speed railway in service, which is the world's longest, said He Huawu, chief engineer of the MOR. By 2012, China will have a railway network of 110,000 kilometers, 13,000 kilometers of which will be high-speed rail, according to the MOR.

( Xinhua , October 3 , 2010 )