Railways see 5 mln passengers ahead of Duanwu

Chinese railways transported 5.11 million passengers Sunday, up 8.9 percent year on year, boosted by the three-day Dragon Boat Festival, the Ministry of Railways said Monday. Railway authorities put an extra 73 trains into service to cope with the surging demand, the ministry said. Urumqi, the capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, saw rail passenger numbers surge 45.1 percent year on year while Chengdu, Wuhan and Nanchang reported an increase of over 15 percent. Shanghai has become the hottest travel destination during the holiday because of the Shanghai World Expo, the ministry said. The ministry asked local rail authorities to optimize their transportation services and open additional services if necessary. The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on Wednesday, is a traditional Chinese holiday to commemorate the life and death of romantic poet Qu Yuan (340 BC - 278 BC).

(Chinadaily.com.cn , June 15, 2010 )