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Author here. Passengers take multiple journerys during Spring Festival. After some fact-checking, 2.9B appears to be the total number of passenger journeys [1] (not just train journeys), which is estimated to be ~332 million in 2016 [2], according to the Information Office of the Ministry of Transport. However, Chinese state sources have a history of inflating their own statistics [3], so the true number of passengers journeys is probably less that reported. I have updated the post to clarify, thanks for reading carefully!

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunyun

[2]: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/02/travel/china-guangzhou-rai...

[3]: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/18/news/economy/china-province-...

Thank you! =) Pretty interesting article.

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