Chinese railways to break 3bn passenger barrier

TD Guest Writer

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High-speed trains accounted of 52% of Chinese passenger trips in 2016
High-speed trains accounted of 52% of Chinese passenger trips in 2016

China’s railway network is forecast to handle more than three billion passenger trips for the first time in 2017.

The staggering full-year forecast of 3.025bn annual passengers was revealed by the China Railway Corp during its annual meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. This equates to a daily average of more than 8.2 million passengers, and will mark a 9.2% increase compared to last year.

By contrast, all of the world’s airlines combined carried a total of 3.7bn passengers last year.

In 2016, 2.77bn passenger trips were taken on China’s railways, more than half of which (1.44bn) were aboard high-speed trains. The record for a single day was 14.43m trips, achieved during October’s Golden Week holiday.

This year, China will add 2,100km of track, extending the country’s total network to more than 126,000km. Four major high-speed lines were launched in 2016: the Zhengzhou-Xuzhou Railway connecting central and eastern China; the Chongqing-Wanzhou Railway, which became the first high-speed connection to the Three Gorges Dam area; the Kunming-Guiyang Railway, which completed the link from Shanghai to Kunming; and the Kunming-Baise Railway, completing Kunming’s connection to from Guangzhou to Yunnan’s provincial capital.
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