public transport security

Lunar New Year

Stricter security at Chinese train stations as millions continue Lunar New Year exodus

China Railway introduces new list of banned items, including smelly durian and bean curd, kitchen knives, live animals and small bottles of rice wine

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 February, 2016, 5:37pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 February, 2016, 5:54pm

Smelly durian, kitchen knives, small bottles of baijiu rice wine and live animals have all been added to a new list of banned items at Chinese stations and trains introduced before this year’s Lunar New Year.

Security checks introduced at railway stations across the country have been stepped up as millions of mainlanders travel home for the annual festival and described as ”among the strictest in history”, mainland media reported.

Strong-smelling durian fruit and bean curd fell foul of the new restrictions as part of the list of items banned from trains because they are thought likely to“disturb public hygiene” because of their “extreme smell”, the reports said.

READ MORE: Ah, the joys of Chinese Lunar New Year train travel: smelly instant noodles, cheesy feet and noisy children

The new list of items that are prohibited at Chinese railway stations and on trains was issued by China Railway, the national train operator, on January 10.

Tighter restrictions have also been imposed on the number of flammable items permitted on trains. Only two boxes of matches may be carried per person, instead of the previous limit of 20, and people can only take two cigarette lighters with them, compared with the previous limit of five lighters.

READ MORE: Chinese travellers recall horrors of overcrowded, snow-hit Chinese Lunar New Year journeys past

Mainland media has reported numerous incidents of travellers being stopped by security guards while trying to board trains after failing to obey the new rules.

The news website reported on Tuesday that a man in the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province had killed two chickens while at Wenzhou South Railway Station on Monday after being stopped by security staff while for trying to take the live animals on board.

READ MORE: Chinese man slaughters chickens at railway station after ban on taking them on train

The report said he had planned to take the chickens to his home city of Taizhou and chose to kill the birds and then pack them inside his bag because he did not want to waste his train ticket.

China National Radio reported on Monday that a resident from the city of Changchun in Jilin province was prevented from boarding a train while carrying a live chicken and duck home, which he planned to give to his daughter-in-law. The man was said to have been “very embarrassed” that he was unable to take the train.

READ MORE: Bladerunner: Chinese airport security finds passenger with fruit knife concealed in her bra

The Chutian Metropolis Daily reported on Monday that a university student was stopped at Wuhan’s Hankou Railway Station after she was found to have been hiding her pet dog inside her jacket.

Security staff, who originally thought she was pregnant, discovered the dog and made her leave it behind with friends before allowing her to board the train.

The same report also said that a man was stopped by security staff at Wuhan’s Wuchang Railway Station as he tried to board a train because he was carrying three cigarette lighters – one more than the new quota.

The annual nationwide Spring Festival exodus, which sees millions of Chinese migrant workers return to their homes to celebrate the new year with their families, began on January 24 and will end after 40 days on March 3.