BEIJING • China's summer transport peak period has begun, with a record number of passenger trips expected to be made by train.
The period, known as shu yun in Chinese, runs from July 1 to Aug 31, during which students on summer vacation have time to travel around the country or return home.
In total, 598 million passenger trips are expected to be made by train over the 62-day period, up from 49.7 million over the same period last year, according to the China Railway Corporation.
The railway authorities have rolled out a new transport route plan, adding more trains at transport hubs and raising average passenger capacity.
Under the plan, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Xuzhou will run high-speed trains to the north-western city of Lanzhou in Gansu province during this period.
The Yangtze River Delta railway network is expected to handle 116 million passenger trips during the period, up 9.2 per cent from the same period last year.
Beijing will also add more trains to serve students and tourists.
"We estimate that the Beijing Railway Station will handle 210,000 outbound passenger trips today," said an official in charge of passenger transport there last Saturday.
For the first time, passengers can also take bullet trains from Beijing to Xiongan New Area in Hebei province, according to China Railway.
High-speed trains have become a popular choice among travellers.
"My children have begun their summer holidays. We will make a visit to Nanjing," said a woman surnamed Lu at the South Railway Station in Hefei, the capital of Anhui province in the east. It was the first time that Madam Lu would be taking a high-speed train.