BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Railways said 289 more trains were added to take passengers on Sunday to meet the needs of those returning home for the Spring Festival which falls on Monday.
Statistics from the ministry show that nationwide railways carried on Friday 5.752 million passengers, with 538 extra trains put into service.
The ministry said lingering bad weather had forced passengers to travel by train, which sharply increased passenger flow on trains.
In Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, the number of railway passengers increased 58 percent and 42.5 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.
The Spring Festival vacation is always a difficult time for China's public transportation authorities. A total of 3.16 billion passenger trips are expected this year during the holiday, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier, of which 235 million trips will be made via the railways, up 6.1 percent year on year.
This Spring Festival travel rush period started on Jan. 8 and might end on Feb. 16, the Ministry of Railways estimated.