BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have added extra travel contingencies to ensure the smooth kick-off on Saturday of the world's largest annual migration.
With 3.41 billion trips expected to be made over the next 40 days' peak travel season, railway authorities arranged 358 more passenger trains on Saturday to start handling the estimated 5.2 million daily trips made by homesick passengers for Spring Festival, said Zhao Chunlei, an official with the Ministry of Railways.
The ministry has thoroughly checked the newly introduced trains and made emergency-response plans to guarantee rail safety, Zhao added.
The ministry's move is only part of efforts by central authorities, which have also geared up the country's road and shipping networks to cope with booming passenger numbers.
He Jianzhong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, said that 840,000 coaches will participate in the nationwide transportation and 13,000 ships have also been arranged to carry up to 700,000 per day.
China's airlines adopted a similar approach by increasing the combined transport capacity to handle 35.5 million journeys, up 4.9 percent from the same period last year.
During the 40-day period, the country's rail network is expected to handle 225 million trips, while long-distance buses will see up to 3.1 billion passengers. The combined figure accounts for 99 percent of the overall national capacity.
Spring Festival, the most important Chinese holiday for family reunions, falls on Feb. 10 this year, making the holiday travel period span from Jan. 26 to March 6.