Costly high-speed trains concern budget conscious Chinese

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Beijing, Jan 12 (ANI): The opening of more fast train services in China has led to fewer regular trains being available for budget-conscious passengers during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday period.

In 2009, about 5,149 km of high-speed track were put into service, making the network the world's longest by stretching it to 8,358 km.

Citing an example of a luxury sleeper service that was added between Shanghai and Chengdu with tickets costing up to 2,330 Yuan (352 dollars), Chinese Ministry of Transport spokesman He Jianzhong said that many travellers cannot afford the tickets.

Jianzhong further said this year the situation had compelled many passengers, who used to travell by slow trains with cheap tickets to long-distance buses. He added that this tendency of people would add pressure to the road transport system during the travel peak season.

On Tuesday, a Chinese media report has claime dthat despite selling tickets at a lower cost, hundreds of berths on bullet trains between Chengdu and Shanghai is expected to be vacant.

The Ministry of Transport estimated that a 2.6 billion bus passenger trips will be made during the peak time between January 19 and February 27, an increase of 11.6 percent on the same period last year.

Now, the transport sector is reportedly planning to increase capacity to handle the extra traffic, with reports claiming that a total of 840,000 buses, including 70,000 would be made available on the roads during the travel peak. (ANI)

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