Adjustments part of routine operation that will also boost shipments of coal
China will operate a new national railway schedule from April 8, China State Railway Group announced recently, with passengers able to buy tickets from next Saturday.
Until then, the network has suspended the sale of tickets for journeys commencing on or after April 8. The move triggered heated discussion online over the weekend, with the topic at one stage becoming one of the top 10 discussed by netizens.
Travelers can usually buy tickets as early as 15 days before a trip.
The new schedule will better cater to passengers' travel needs, according to 12306.cn, the official website of the railway ticket booking system.
Adjustments to the railway schedule are a routine operation, usually happening once a quarter. The group adjusted schedules four times last year－in January, April, June and October.
The new schedule, which sees new railway lines opening to traffic and adjustments to the number of passenger and freight train services, aims to provide tailored railway services to ensure stability in the domestic economy and high-quality opening-up, the national railway operator said.
More international freight railway services and intermodal transport involving sea-rail freight trains will be arranged in the new schedule to better serve the international supply chain and improve high-quality opening-up, the group said.
There will be four extra daily freight services on the China-Laos Railway. Additionally, more freight services will be operated between China and Europe, and the number of services along the new western land-sea corridor will be increased.
The group said the new schedule will enhance high-speed railway connectivity in East and Central China, offering passengers more choices. A new high-speed railway line linking Huanggang and Huangmei in Central China's Hubei province will open soon, reducing travel times between Hubei and East China's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces and Shanghai.
More services to transport coal for power generation will be organized, and more freight train services carrying coal will be arranged on the new railway line linking Heshun in Shanxi province, a key producer, with Xingtai, Hebei province, to transport coal to East China.
Services on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway lines will also release more capacity on regular speed lines that will be used to transport coal.
More services will also be arranged in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to transport coal produced in the area.
The new schedule will also rearrange some services to avoid passing through flood-prone areas in East China's Fujian province during the flood season.
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