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December 9, 2013

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All aboard! New train services set to go north

A TOTAL of 30 new high-speed train services to northern China will be permanently added to the schedule beginning on December 28, the Shanghai Railway Bureau said over the weekend.

The trains will significantly reduce travel times. For example, the trip from Shanghai to Harbin will be shortened from 31 to 13 hours, officials said.

The new bullet trains will depart from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Harbin and other northern cities like Changchun, Shenyang and Dalian.

The new trains between Shanghai and Harbin will stop in Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Nanjing, Xuzhou, Jinan, Tianjin, Shenyang and Changchun.

The bureau also said it will temporarily adjust the schedule on busy routes between Shanghai and Beijing, Ningbo, Hangzhou and other cities for the annual Spring Festival travel rush.

Last year, the national rail network transported 240 million passengers from January 26 to March 6 for the 2013 Spring Festival travel rush. Shanghai handled more than 41 million passengers during the 40-day period.

Meanwhile, group ticket sales for the 2014 Spring Festival have already started. As of yesterday, companies could apply for group tickets for their employees.

Individuals can also organize groups. Such groups of five or more can apply for tickets beginning on Wednesday.

Advance ticket sales

Chinese New Year’s Eve falls on January 30 and the railway transport peak will be between January 16 and February 24 as many migrant workers will head to their hometowns for the annual holiday.

Railways tickets go on sale 20 days in advance over the Internet and telephone, or 18 days in advance through counters, ticket service spots and vending machines.

Extra trains will be put into service during the travel rush to help counter the increase in passengers. Officials said tickets for these extra trains will go on sale 25 days in advance through the Internet and telephone, and 23 days at the other service spots.

Officials will also handle group ticket applications for students from tomorrow through December 19 to ensure non-local students can return home to see their families for the holiday.



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