THE explosion outside Guangzhou railway station yesterday has revived fears about safety on China's trains. Officials were unable to establish the motive for Liu Shushu's apparent suicide attempt which injured himself and two passers-by, but the incident served as a reminder of the frequent explosions either on board trains or near railway stations. Over the past five years, at least 300 people have been killed in train blasts across the country. In July last year, 20 passengers were killed and 50 injured on a crowded train in southern Fujian province when dynamite some travellers had taken aboard exploded. Although the Government says it has stepped up its security measures on railways since the early 1980s, travellers are still able to board trains easily with inflammable, explosive and other dangerous goods - often with disastrous consequences. In 1989, Zhou Weijiang, who was heavily in debt, committed suicide by triggering dynamite on a train travelling from Hangzhou to Shanghai. Twenty-three other people were killed. But deliberate acts have not been solely to blame for explosions aboard trains. Many local travellers, especially peasants and fishermen, frequently travel with fireworks and fish bombs - festival gifts for fellow villagers or their means of making a living. The key problem could be the poor implementation of safety regulations. For most of China's railway stations have no means to detect prohibited goods in passengers' luggage. And in most regions, the passengers themselves still pay little attention to what they are allowed to carry on public transport. Officials have argued that strict inspections will slow the flow of traffic and inconvenience passengers on the already overcrowded railway network. Some officials are obviously reluctant to admit there are loopholes in the existing security system which enables people to easily smuggle dangerous goods on board without notice. Others have confidence in their hi-tech equipment which has been installed in some places. Shortly after yesterday's explosion, a municipal Government official said no explosive materials could be taken aboard trains because the station had installed 'excellent' surveillance facilities last year. 'Even if [Liu] wanted to bring the explosives on board, he would never succeed because we have security officers to search passengers' luggage,' the spokesman said yesterday. But a journalist from a Guangzhou radio station, said that the monitoring system was often out of operation.