China's fast-expanding high-speed railway network is helping Wu Aiping, a 50-year-old worker in east China's Anhui Province, reunite with his family sooner than ever.
In the Spring Festival travel rush this year, the largest annual migration in the country, the travel time of Wu has been cut to nearly three hours from the previous 10 hours thanks to the operation of a high-speed railway in his home city of Fuyang.
"It used to take nearly 10 hours by train to visit my son working in the city of Wuxi in east China's Jiangsu Province," said Wu, who has been working in dozens of provinces across the country. "Now it's really convenient to go anywhere."
As a major exporting city of labor, Fuyang, with a total population of about 10.7 million, exports about 3.5 million migrant workers to the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and other developed regions in China. In December 2019, the city was included in the country's high-speed railway network.
"It will be more convenient for me to travel between home and Hefei City where I am working not only during the travel rush but anytime since the opening of the high-speed railway," said Xiong Zhuoxia, a 32-year-old migrant worker.
"The passenger flow at Fuyang West Station can reach 43,000 people per day, and the station is expected to receive about 28,000 passengers at the peak of the Spring Festival travel rush," said Zhang Yuliang, head of the station.
"We are confident in ensuring transport capacity and serving passengers well," Zhang added.
There will be 3 billion trips during the travel rush from Jan. 10 to Feb. 18 for family reunions and travel, slightly up from last year, according to a forecast from the National Development and Reform Commission.
China plans to expand its high-speed railway network, already the world's biggest, by adding 2,000 km of new lines in 2020, according to the country's railway operator.
By the end of 2019, the country's high-speed railway network stretched 35,000 km, up more than 5,000 km from one year earlier and accounting for nearly 70 percent of the world's total, according to the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd.