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New Year holiday breaks train travel record in China

New high speed trains in China helped carrying more passengers on rail services for the New Year.

BEIJING- China’s railways carried a record number of passengers on the first day of 2013 due to a surge in the number of middle- and short-distance travelers during the three-day New Year holiday, the Ministry of Railways said Thursday.

About 5.67 million passengers took trains on New Year’s Day, marking a rise of 16.3 percent from the number recorded during the same period last year, the ministry said.

The number of passengers increased the most in central China’s Hubei province, with the Wuhan municipal railway bureau recording a 41.2-percent year-on-year increase, the ministry said.

Intercity railways, particularly the new Harbin-Dalian and Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railways, have boosted travel demand, the ministry said. The Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, the world’s longest, opened on Dec. 26, cutting travel time between the cities to about 8 hours.

The ministry said that it expects another travel peak on Thursday as people return to work.

(Source: Xinhua)

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.