The first day of the Chinese New Year 2019 falls on February 5 this year. As always, the annual travel rush starts a fortnight before the festival and will end on March 1. In other words, expect a huge spike in the numbers of travelers in the next 40 days.
Together, the three major railway stations of Shanghai - Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai Railway Station and Hongqiao Railway Station - sent 359,000 people on their way on the first day of Chunyun, an increase of 5 percent from last year. 100,000 passengers departed from Shanghai Railway Station, 60,000 from Shanghai South Railway Station and 199,000 – a fifth of a million - from Hongqiao Railway Station.
Image via Xinmin
Thanks to the newly-launched facial recognition check-in service, this year travelers can swiftly enter the train stations by scanning their faces and ID cards. The whole process takes a mere four seconds. And should a traveler forget to bring their ID document, temporary ID machines can solve their problems.
Image via People's Daily
The stations have also dispatched some of their employees to distribute couplet and fu characters, giving out their blessings to the travelers.
Image via Xinmin
The peak of the travel rush is slated to happen from February 1-3, when a flow of 500,000 passengers a day has been predicted. Altogether, 13.11 million people are expected to travel by train during the entire Spring Festival season, which will break the record once again.
To ease the tremendous pressure caused by the holiday crowd, Shanghai Metro has announced that from February 9-19, extra trains will be added for Line 1, 2, 3 and 4, which run through the three major railway stations.
[Cover image via The Paper]