China's trains unhindered by harsh winter weather

Cold temperatures, rain and snow that hit most parts of the country in November had limited impact on the country's rail services, according to the Ministry of Railways.

In the first 11 months this year, China's railways transported about 3 billion tonnes of goods, but this was still 64.35 million tonnes more than the target, said a statement released by the ministry on Wednesday.

The total number of rail passengers reached 1.413 billion during the same period, up 4.4 percent year on year.

November alone saw 110 million rail journeys, up 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the statement.

Snow hit many parts of north and central China in November, causing traffic accidents and highway closures. Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded at major airports.

But the railways had suffered less from the severe weather as railway systems across the country tried to mitigate the impact, the statement said.

In early 2008, unprecedented heavy snow and freezing rain inundated southern China, bringing traffic to a standstill at peak season, when millions of Chinese were on their way home to celebrate the Spring Festival.

Almost 100,000 rail passengers were stranded in the southern city of Guangzhou as parts of the Beijing-Guangzhou line, a north-south trunk route, were paralyzed by heavy snow in central Hunan Province.

(2009-12-02 source:china.org.cn)