China’s Nightmare Train Journeys Have Dream New Year Destination

AFP reports on the crowded, uncomfortable train journeys endured by millions of migrant workers this time of year as they go home to spend the Chinese New Year with family:

Si paid just under 100 yuan (14 dollars) to make the 1,700-kilometre (1,050-mile) trip from his workplace in southwest China and arguably did not get his money’s worth as there was no air-conditioning and no seat.

“It was overcrowded, the conductor even had to push some people off at the start. Otherwise the train would not be allowed to set off,” he said.

Si had to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of other people in one carriage and could not even get to the toilet for a long spell as someone had fallen asleep drunk in the lavatory.

Nevertheless, Si was all smiles as he left the Zhengzhou railway station to be picked up by his brother and return home for a once-a-year family reunion.

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