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Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Test Run Next July

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 05/03/07; March 7, 2005.]

People's Daily - China

March 07, 2005

Railwars Minister Liu Zhijun, said during the deliberation of the Tibet delegation at the Third Plenary Session of the Tenth National People's Congress that after four years' construction the groundwork of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has been completed at the end of last year. All the tracks will be laid by the end of this year and the railway will begin to test run on July 1, 2006.

Liu Zhijun said the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the symbolic project in the development of the west. It has a planned investment of about 26.2 billion yuan. The railway is totally 1,142 kilometers in length and is the world's longest on-plateau railway with the highest altitude and the most mileage through frozen ground. It runs 960 kilometers at an altitude above 4,000 meters. The railway's highest point is at the Tanggula Pass, which is 5,072 meters in altitude. The geological conditions along the line is complex. Perennial frozen grounds alone cover more than 550 kilometers.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is a world class biologically and environmentally friendly railway. Environmental protection investment alone reach 2-odd billion yuan, accounting for about 8 percent of the total investment. It is the railway construction into which the Chinese government has put the largest investment for environment protection.

Since the start of construction the project has put a hundred million yuan or so into study of frozen ground. The Chinese scientists adopt measures such as bridge substitution, slabstone ventilation roadbed, ventiduct roadbed, gravel and slabstone slope protection etc., which reinforce the protection of the plateau frozen grounds and the natural environment along the line.

As learned after the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is completed it will open five lines connecting Lhasa to Xining, Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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