BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's railways reported 24.6 percent surge in passenger volume Friday, the first day of the annual travel rush when hundreds of millions of Chinese people return home to spend Spring Festival with their families.
More than 8.6 million trips were made by rail Friday, 1.71 million more than the same period last year, according to China Railway Corp.
A record 2.98 billion trips are expected during this year's "Chunyun," the name given for the travel rush around Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, according to the Ministry of Transport.
Up to 356 million trips are expected to be made via rail over the 40-day period, up 9.7 percent year on year.
Spring Festival falls on Jan. 28 this year.