Train tickets snapped up by holiday travellers
By Miao Qing
This year's Spring Festival travel season, which began last weekend,
has already seen its peak ticket sales.
The Putuo Stadium, which has been converted into a temporary train
ticket office for the travel period, yesterday accommodated more
than 10,000 ticket buyers by 2 pm, according to Wu Guoping, an official
with the Shanghai Railway Station who is in charge of the outlet.
Wu said a visible surge of ticket buyers appeared Sunday, when they
received about 17,000 people, mostly migrant workers and students.
Yesterday about 17,000 train tickets were sold from the outlet.
The number was nearly 20,000 Sunday.
The Spring Festival transportation season lasts 40 days, from January
14 to February 22. The city's railway administration expects days
around January 25 to be the peak period for transportation before
the Spring Festival. Train tickets with departure times within the
busiest period sell out quickly.
Getting train tickets still remains the biggest difficulty for those
who plan to go home for the reunion, even though the railway administration
has added more passenger trains and ticket sale outlets in the city.
While Putuo Stadium was not a crush of ticket buyers at 2 pm yesterday,
hundreds of people were already lined up outside for an overnight
wait to be first in line to buy tickets for January 26 departures.
(Passengers can buy their tickets 10 days ahead of their departure
time so the tickets for January 26 will be sold starting today.)
Wu said it was important to be on hand as early as possible to buy
a ticket. "Most of the January 25 departure train tickets were
sold out by noon today," he said. "Very few tickets will
be left in the afternoon."
Yan Haibin, a migrant worker from Anhui Province, went to the Putuo
Stadium at about 1 pm yesterday to buy a ticket back to his hometown
for January 25.
"If today I cannot get the ticket, I am ready to wait here
overnight to buy a ticket leaving on January 26," he said.
The stadium was opened overnight Sunday to allow ticket buyers to
stay inside, after the city's Mayor Han Zheng requested it in a
group discussion at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 12th Municipal
People's Congress. The ticket-selling operation concluded at 5 pm
Some ticket buyers said they still had difficulty buying their tickets
even after waiting all night in queues.
"One of my colleagues waited overnight outside a ticket sales
outlet in the Yangpu District. He was the first in the queue to
buy tickets after the outlet opened, but he was told that all the
seats for his train had already been sold out," said a ticket
buyer surnamed Rong.
"It is quite miserable to stand for the entire trip,"
said Rong. "So where have all the seat tickets gone, even before
they went on sale?"
The city's railway officials said the situation met by Rong's colleague
is quite rare.
About 60 to 70 per cent of the tickets for trains which start from
Shanghai can be sold in the city and the rest are assigned to other
stations along the trip, said Chen Wanjun, an official with the
Shanghai Railway Administration.
Apart from the train tickets booked by groups of students, migrant
workers and tourists, the remaining tickets for each train, roughly
100 in number, will be available for sale at the city's 302 ticket
windows during the travel period, he said.
"Ticket scalpers will make the scarce ticket supply even tighter.
We still have not come up with an effective solution to deal with
them, especially those hidden in the ticket sales outlets,"