Big data-tech aids China’s railway transport in anti-epidemic fight


File photo: CGTN

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — China’s railway authorities are applying big data technology to the epidemic prevention and control works of the massive flow of train passengers, according to a report of Science and Technology Daily.

Railway authorities launched the emergency response system of the country’s official online railway ticket-booking platform 12306 after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), said the report.

“The system develops its advantages in big data and real name ticketing, which are crucial information in tracking the close contacts of travelers who were diagnosed with the virus,” said Zhu Jiansheng with the China Academy of Railway Sciences, the operator of 12306.

The operating team of the 12306 system has extended the big data analysis and system monitoring to ensure the system's effective operation amid changes alongside the epidemic.

Known as the big data warehouse of China’s railway sector, the 12306 system has generated the railway passenger data of China over the past twenty years. Its daily data processing capacity is in the hundreds of TB level, with the peak daily number of hits amounting to the trillion level.

With the real names and mobile photo numbers registered on the 12306 system, the railway authorities are in joint hands with local governments and epidemic prevention institutions to find those passengers who had close contacts with the diagnosed patients of the COVID-19.

Making use of the big data, the 12306 system has also started the ticketing of separate seats to reduce the transmission risk among passengers.

As of Feb. 10, China’s railway sector had found 7,573 passengers with a fever and assisted in tracking 1,800 batches of passengers who had close contact with diagnosed or suspicious patients of COVID-19.

The railway remains one of the most widely used transportation modes in China, with a high density of passengers. Despite cutting trips amid the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s railway system still carried 12.45 million passenger trips around the country.

According to the monitoring and analysis based on big data, from Feb. 11 to 18, China is expected to see around 160 million passengers due to the Spring Festival travel rush, said statistics from the Ministry of Transport.