100m Train Trips Made During Golden Week Holiday

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High-speed train offers convenience, comfort

More than 100 million trips were made via the Chinese railway system during the past week-long National Day holiday, as the country's fast-developing railway gains growing favor with travelers.

Monday marked the last day of the week-long National Day holiday mass travel season in China, with an estimated 16.79 million trips made that day on the railway system, according to statistics sent from China Railway Corporation (CRC) to the Global Times.

More than 100 million railway trips were made from September 28 to Sunday, the corporation said. To cope with the surge, CRC added more than 1,000 trains on Sunday and Monday.

The railway system operator adopted high-tech equipment and special service facilities to cater for passengers. Facial recognition machines at some stations shortened the ticket checking time from eight to three seconds per person.

China's trains, especially the high-speed train, are becoming more and more favored by travelers for their speed, convenience and interior comfort.

Beijing resident Zheng Lei took the high-speed train approximately 1,271 kilometers from Beijing to Hangzhou in this holiday.

"The train ride offered me a view outside my window, showed me the changing landscape from north to south," Zheng said. "Moreover, the trains are more spacious and convenient than the airplane."

China's high-speed trains are also equipped with Wi-Fi, which enables travelers to roam freely online.

A viral video on China's Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo shows a high-speed train passenger watching live the grand military parade and mass pageantry marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on his smartphone on October 1.

In an article accompanying the video, the internet user said that the live feed attracted passengers from the whole compartment to watch.

"The compartment was filled with the exclamation of passengers from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds, which was amazing," the user posted.

Traveling from Beijing to Shanghai, Liu Han saw a group of tourists from Spain taking selfies with the screen display of the train's speed - 350 kilometers per hour.

Weakness to greatness

China's railway system wasn't such a shining star at the very beginning.

Take the train trip between Beijing and Shanghai as an example: It took an estimated 30 hours from Beijing to Shanghai in 1963.

The 1,318 kilometer Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, with a speed of 350 kilometers per hour, was completed in June 2011.

China's railway network expanded based on the experience and standards of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line.

More than 10 high-speed rail lines were built afterwards connecting to the Beijing-Shanghai line and the network basically covers the whole country, China Central Television (CCTV) reported in June.

The report said China's high-speed rail line totaled 29,000 kilometers, the world's longest. More than 10 billion trips were made by the high-speed rail line by the end of first quarter of 2019, CCTV said.

Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, said that the high-speed rail line also played a key role in national economic development through improving transport connectivity between China's cities as well as accelerating economic development of inland provinces.

Alistair Michie, the secretary general of the British East Asia Council told the CRC that he is the "biggest fan of China's high-speed railway."

He told the CRC when he visited the corporation's command center in May that the high-speed railway was the world's most secure, convenient and comfortable railway system, which deserves to be visited by every foreigner.

He also said that China should cooperate with more countries in this regard, so as to bring the "magnificent infrastructure to the rest of the world."

On September 30, the first box girder of the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway project was installed, marking another milestone of cooperation between China and Indonesia, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Source: en.people.cn