Trains, staff both beefed up to deal with millions of travelers as holiday ends
China's railway authorities have ratcheted up efforts to bring people back to their home cities as the weeklong National Day holiday came to an end on Monday.
The China State Railway Group said that 16.7 million trips were expected to be made on Monday, the last day of the holiday.
On Sunday, 14.6 million trips were made, an increase of 6.1 percent year-on-year.
The two days served as the peak for return travel, and railway companies around the country have added trains, staff members and working hours to accommodate more passengers and provide better service, the group said.
About 1,260 trains were added nationwide on Monday, setting a record for the number of added trains during the seven-day holiday.
During the return peak, hot travel destinations like Shanghai and Chengdu, Sichuan province, added more trains than other cities because they faced greater transportation pressure, data from the group showed.
On Sunday, 2.73 million trips were made in Shanghai, an increase of 8.5 percent year-on-year.
In Chengdu, trips on the same day reached 1.3 million, an increase of 9.8 percent.
To cope with the flow, Shanghai extended bus and subway operation times and added staff members or volunteers in key positions of railway stations such as ticket offices, ticket entrances and platforms.
Meanwhile, Chengdu added 153 trains, of which 47 were night trains.
Other popular destinations like Wuhan in Hubei province, Dalian in Liaoning province, and Lhasa in the Tibet autonomous region, each added about 100 trains to help tourists return.
The Hohhot railway group company of Inner Mongolia autonomous region made a targeted train addition between Hohhot and Ejine Banner. Ejine has a scenic poplar tree site, and the company decided to add trains based on increased tourist numbers in the area.
Other rail companies, including those in Zhengzhou in Henan province, Xi'an in Shaanxi province and Jinan in Shandong province, increased the number of ticketing offices, ticket vending machines and security devices.
Weather was not beneficial during the return peak. The China Meteorological Administration reported heavy fog on Monday morning in central and eastern regions, including Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei provinces, and warned motorists to drive carefully.
Moreover, from Monday to Tuesday morning, visibility was expected to be less than 200 meters in eastern parts of Henan province and northwestern parts of Anhui province.
Cold air was also forecast for northern areas this week, the administration said. Temperatures will drop by as much as 10 C in Inner Mongolia as well as in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, with wind speeds between 20 to 49 kilometers per hour.
During the National Day holiday from Sept 28 to Oct 7, about 142 million passengers were expected to be made across China, an increase of 8.8 percent year-on-year, railway group data said.