The Shaanxi Railways Bureau has set up pilot program which allows them to add additional train services based on real-time bookings. At this stage it is only available on the Xi’an-Yulin route, which is owned and managed by the provincial authority.
The bureau said the new service is an innovation in regional train services, but it will be difficult to extend it to the national level as adding extra services would require advanced coordination between different rail authorities and train stations.
“Taking bookings for on-demand services is a new phenomenon available due to the internet era. The provincial railway bureau can make adjustments to train services based on real-time information showing passenger demand,” said Yin Xiaojun from the Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences. He said if the pilot service can be extended it will help improve the accuracy of China’s railway scheduling system.
Sold out trains are a common occurrence during China’s peak travel periods such as the National Day holiday that ended Sunday. More than 132 million rail trips were made during the official 11-day holiday travel period last week, up 11.6 percent year on year, according to the China Railway Corporation (CRC). An average of 7,852 trains were scheduled each day during the holiday, 713 more than the same period last year, including 5,273 high-speed trains, an increase of 788 from last year.