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Development

China Making Progress on Building Qinghai-Tibet Railway

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2003/08/29; August 29, 2003.]

Press Trust of India
Beijing, August 28

China has successfully completed one of the most difficult stretch of railway lines at a height of over 4,700 metres that would form part of the world's highest Qinghai-Tibet railway.

Chinese railway workers on Wednesday completed laying the rails through the Hoh Xil area, a harsh nature reserve on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, media reports said on Thursday.

As the earth on the plateau is frozen during the bitter winter, railway construction is possible only in the April-November period.

The lines has successfully crossed the 4,741-meter-high Hoh Xil mountain, making it 271 km long. Construction of the Golmud-Lhasa section of the 1,140-km Qinghai-Tibet railway began in June, 2001.

When completed, the Qinghai-Tibet railway will be the highest railway in the world. Over 960 kilometres, or over four-fifths of the railway will be built at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters. And more than half of it will be laid on earth that has been frozen for a long time.

Over 1,000 workers have overcome severe cold and lack of oxygen to transport materials and build the railway. They are now preparing to conquer the next mountain, which is more than 4,900 meter in altitude, Xinhua news agency reported.

To ensure their health and safety, every worker is required to work no more than six hours per day. Special meals, necessary medicine and compulsory oxygen supplies are provided for them.

The oxygen content of the atmosphere at the Hoh Xil nature reserve, an uninhabited area on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, is only half that at sea level.


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