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13 April 2024

Stranded in China: Thousands at train station

By Reuters

More than 50,000 passengers were stranded at a railway station in the Chinese city of Guangzhou on Tuesday (local time) because of weather delays, state media said, an inauspicious start for some as the country embarks upon its annual lunar new year travel rush.

Millions brave long queues, delays, and sold out tickets in the yearly 40-day travel frenzy that bookends China's Spring Festival, the country's most important holiday, which this year falls on Feb. 8.

Authorities had taken emergency measures to alleviate the overflow crowds at the Guangzhou Railway Station and "avoid the dangers of overcrowding", the official Xinhua news agency said.

 Media reported that the number of delayed travellers at the station in the southern city had surpassed 100,000 on Monday.

Rare heavy snow in several eastern and central provinces had contributed to delays, slowing down trains and blocking roads.

Xia has said the country is bracing for record levels of passengers this year.