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China railways brace for post-holiday travel rush

China's railways will be tested Thursday, when passenger flows peak at the end of the Spring Festival holiday.

Some 11.5 million trips, a year-on-year increase of 11.3 percent, will be made on the country's railways with travelers returning to work as the week-long Lunar New Year celebration draws to a close, according to China Railway.

The company added 819 passenger trains Thursday to cope with increased demand.

About 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during the Spring Festival travel rush between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21, slightly up from a year ago, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

Spring Festival is the most important occasion for family reunions and fell on Jan. 28 this year. Chinese people enjoyed a week-long holiday starting Jan. 27.

Chunyun, literally meaning "spring transport," was first coined as a phrase by the media in 1954 to describe heavy traffic around Spring Festival, according to China Railway archives.

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