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Passengers to be home for holiday
Latest Updated at 2008-February-1 11:23:05
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Railway officials yesterday (Jan.31)聽vowed to transport all passengers stranded in Guangdong province back to their families before the eve of the lunar new year on Wednesday.

Ministry of Railways spokesman Wang Yongping said in an online interview yesterday about 2 million passengers needed to be transported back in five days.

"We will operate 400 trains on the Beijing-Guangzhou and Beijing-Kowloon lines each day starting today, so that 400,000 passengers can leave the province each day," he said.

The north-south arterial railway between Beijing and Guangzhou had been paralyzed for close to a week after heavy snow and ice disrupted power supplies.

The railway resumed operations on Wednesday evening following repairs to the network, officials said.

By yesterday morning, 51 passenger trains started running again toward the northern regions and 43 heading south resumed operations, the ministry said.

The ministry has also arranged for more detours on disrupted lines, with 436 trains carrying more than 900,000 passengers taking other routes by Wednesday evening.

Crowds remain at Guangzhou railway station but they are said to be in reasonable spirits.

"The order in the square of the station has improved a lot, compared with two days ago," Liu Quanjin, a migrant worker from Sichuan province, told China Daily yesterday.

After being stuck at the station for two days, Liu, his wife and 4-year-old daughter boarded their train yesterday and headed back home for the lunar new year.

Railway stations in the province, which stopped selling tickets on Jan 24 because of the disruptions, will resume sales soon, officials said.

At Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, normal operations are resuming with fewer flights cancelled or delayed, officials said yesterday.

More than 50,000 passengers had left Guangzhou for their homes as of yesterday, according to airport figures.

Roads reopened

Almost all highways closed due to snow reopened yesterday, except for those in Guizhou province, officials said.

One section of the Beijing-Zhuhai highway in Hunan province reopened, but the section in the northern part of Guangdong remains blocked, the Ministry of Communications said.

Vehicles were encouraged to take an alternate route through the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to Guangdong.

Passage fees on a detour route will be exempted, the authorities said.

Hope for some, others keep on waiting

The sale of train tickets for destinations in northern China resumed in Shanghai yesterday, three days after they were halted because of the havoc caused by the bad weather.

Roads connecting Shanghai and neighboring cities were also reopened, while short-distance trains headed for nearby cities such as Hangzhou also started running as the weather began to clear up, officials said.

Officials from the Shanghai railway bureau have asked all passengers who intend to go to Guangzhou to make alternative plans, as the impact of the heavy snowfall in the southern regions remains harsh.

The authorities have set up temporary shelters for stranded passengers in the square outside the station.

According to electricity authority officials, the worst of the power shortages has also passed.

Wang Changxing from the Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd told China Daily yesterday that the city's daily peak load for power generation has dropped to under 18 million kW.

Wang said the highest loads were seen on Jan 25 and Monday, when it rose to more than 18.1 million kW.

"In those two days, we bought 300,000 kW and 200,000 kW, respectively, from Zhejiang province," Wang said.

"The situation there has improved a lot as many privately owned companies have stopped operations because of the lunar new year holidays," he said.

Shanghai is currently producing about 13 million kW a day and buying about 4 million kW from other regions and provinces such as the Three Gorges area, Anhui, Fujian and Zhejiang, Wang said.

Lin Haiyu from the East China Grid Co Ltd said that Shanghai has sufficient coal stocks to fuel at least a week's power supply.

She was also keen to dispel notions that the city was facing the danger of running out of coal.

"I can't see such a shortage in our company's tracking system," she said.

One the weather front, local forecasters have said that Shanghai will see more rain and snow - rating medium to high on the scales - starting this afternoon.

The lowest temperatures are predicted to reach as low as -3 C in the some suburban areas of the city, the forecasters said.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website

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