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Development

China Completes Building World's Highest Railway to Tibet

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 05/10/15; October 15, 2005.]

Press Trust of India
Beijing, October 15, 2005

China on Saturday announced the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world's highest, which will link the remote Himalayan region with the rest of the country.

A ceremony was held in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, to mark the completion of one of China's most ambitious projects, which stretches from Xining in Qinghai Province in northwest China to Lhasa, with a total length of 1,956 km making it the world's longest plateau railroad.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway has an average altitude of 4,500 metres with its highest point at 5,072 metres, at least 200 metres higher than the Peruvian railway in the Andes, which was formerly the world's most elevated track.

The line is scheduled to start trial operations in the second half of 2006.

Construction of the railway from Golmud in Qinghai Province, to Lhasa began on June 29, 2001 with the Chinese government allocating $3.1 billion for the project.

Maximum train speed on the line would reach 100 km per hour in frozen earth areas and 120 km per hour on non-frozen earth during actual operations, Chinese officials said.

At 5,068 meters above sea level, Tanggula Railway Station will be the highest railway station in the world.

The railway is built on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in north-western China. The plateau is the place of origin of the country's five major river systems and also home to some rare wildlife species.


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