BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Railways said Monday that the country's trains had carried a total of 80.172 million passengers from Jan. 8 to 22, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier.
On Jan. 21 alone, the nation's trains transported 5.752 million passengers, up nearly 15 percent year-on-year and the biggest daily increase since the festival travel rush period started on Jan. 8.
Poor weather had forced passengers to travel by train, which sharply increased passenger flow on trains, the ministry said.
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 ministry added 289 more trains to accommodate Chinese returning to home on Sunday for Spring Festival.
The Spring Festival travel season, known as "chunyun" in Chinese, kicked off on Jan. 8 this year, with hundreds of millions of people, mainly migrant workers and college students, heading home for the most important festival in China.
People in China are expected to make around 3.16 billion passenger trips this year during chunyun, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier, of which 235 million trips are likely to be made by train, up 6.1 percent year-on-year.
The travel rush period will end on Feb. 16.