China's rail freight volume, an indicator of broad economic activity, rose 9.1 percent year on year in 2018, according to the China Railway Corporation.
Railways carried 4.02 billion tonnes of freight last year, 334 million tonnes more than the previous year, data from the company showed.
Of the total, state-operated railways carried 3.19 billion tonnes of cargo, up 9.3 percent or 272 million tonnes. Compared with highway freight, the increased rail freight could save 2.99 million tonnes of standard coal and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 7.36 million tonnes.
Apart from state-operated railways, China also has rail lines operated by local governments and enterprises.