Guangzhou deploys more trains to ease Lunar New Year's rush

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2007, 12:00am

Guangzhou Railway Group will add more than 100 extra trains today to cope with an expected peak in the annual rush by migrant workers to go home for the Lunar New Year.

The group said in a statement that there would be 73 additional departures from Guangzhou's two stations, 23 extra from Shenzhen's two stations and 13 more from Dongguan .

It said stations in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan had moved 593,000 passengers on Sunday and more than 600,000 passengers yesterday. Passenger traffic was expected to peak today and remain heavy until Friday.

The crush at Guangzhou Railway Station eased yesterday as more trains left on time but police predicted the situation could worsen.

'It was better this afternoon. Fifty-six trains left and only six were delayed. We did not have to block the road,' Yuexiu district public security bureau spokesman Luo Yuqiu said, adding another 67 train were scheduled to leave between 4pm yesterday and 8am today.

Mr Luo said that police had to block off 400 metres of Huanshi West Road outside the railway station to accommodate 70,000 waiting passengers on Sunday and early yesterday.

An extra 1,000 policemen were deployed to keep order, he said. 'We are expecting things to get worse in the next [few] days.'

Mr Luo said the crowd was huge because some people who had not managed to buy tickets had come to the station anyway while others with tickets had arrived too early.

Zhou Changyong , a migrant worker from Chengdu , said he arrived at the station at 10am to wait for his 8pm train to Chongqing .

'I paid 130 yuan more for my ticket, which normally costs 170 yuan,' he said.

The railway authority has blamed bad weather 'up north' for the train delays but was unable to say exactly where.

Yuan Gangming , a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences scholar, said more likely reasons were the number of migrant workers in Guangdong and poor management by the railway.