Jul 12, 2021 08:11 PM

China Rail Trips Recover to 77% of Pre-Pandemic Level

What’s new: About 1.37 billion trips were taken on China’s railways in the first half of this year, up two-thirds year-on-year and back to 77% of the 2019 level, according to data released Sunday by the network operator.

Cargo transport volume rose 8.9% year-on-year in the first six months to 1.85 billion tons, partly driven by increasing demand for commodities as China’s manufacturers continued to recover from the pandemic’s impact.

The details: The first-half trip figure was dragged by the government’s call for people to stay put during the Lunar New Year holiday — usually peak travel season — amid a spate of Covid-19 flare-ups during the first quarter. Passenger traffic on China’s railways in February slumped 50.8% year-on-year to 143 million travelers, according to data released Sunday by China State Railway Group Co. Ltd.

However, passenger traffic rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels during subsequent holidays. Chinese railways carried about 9 million passengers per day on average in the second quarter, up nearly 50% from the first quarter and reaching about 90% of the passenger volume during the same period in 2019.

China Railway expects to see passenger traffic reach 750 million trips from July 1 to Aug. 31, basically the same as in 2019.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Related: Chart of the Day: China’s Labor Day Tourism Rebounds to Near Pre-Covid Levels

Contact reporter Luo Meihan ( and editor Joshua Dummer (

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