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Travel to Tibet from China by Train
The extension of a landmark railway from Tibet's capital, Lhasa, to its second-largest city, Xigaze, is in full swing and will be completed by 2015, officials said Tuesday. As of the end of 2011, 3.4 billion yuan (538 million U.S. dollars) had been poured into the Lhasa-Xigaze railway, about a quarter of the total budget for the project, Tibet's regional development and reform commission said in a statement.
The railway, the first extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway that opened in July 2006, is one of the plateau region's key construction projects during the 2011-2015 period. Construction workers have finished laying 14.08 million cubic meters of roadbed, about 77 percent of the total, and built 40 percent of the tunnels along the road, said Jin Shixun, chief of the commission.
will pass through five counties and the 90-km-long Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon. Construction began in September 2010, with a budget of 13.3 billion yuan (2.1 billion U.S. dollars).It is designed to have a transport capacity of 8.3 million tonnes of freight annually and will allow trains to travel at a minimum speed of 120 km per hour.
Xigaze, with a history of more than 600 years, is Tibet's second-largest city and the traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas.Xigaze City is the administrative center of the Tibetan prefecture of the same name, which covers 182,000 square km bordering India, Nepal and Bhutan and includes Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest).
Jin said the new rail link will play a vital role in boosting tourism and accelerating the transport of natural resources. Tibet will start building another extension of the plateau railway, from Lhasa to Nyingchi, in the next five years, according to the region's plan for economic and social development in the 2011-2015 period.
Qinghai-Tibet Railway achieves zero garbage emission
The world's longest plateau railroad, China's Qinghai-Tibet Railway, has achieved zero garbage emissions since its start of operation on July 1, 2006.
"More than 180,000 tonnes of garbage was generated by its passengers in four years but all of it was classified and treated properly," said Li Li, a senior official with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Corporation.
"Three garbage disposal stations are located along the railway, namely in Xining City and Golmud City, both in northwest China's Qinghai Province and Tibet' s capital Lhasa. There are a total of 21 vacuum sewage suction trucks at the three stations that collect the garbage and sewage generated on the trains day and night," Li added. Gao Zhantao from the Golmud garbage disposal station said, "We send the garbage and sewage to local parks to be utilised as fertilizer for flowers and trees."
Li said the railway company has been doing this to protect the plateau environment along the railroad. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway stretches 1,956 kilometers from Qinghai's provincial capital of Xining to Lhasa. The section of 814 km from Xining to Golmud began operation in 1984 and the construction on the Golmud-Lhasa section started on June 29, 2001.
Furthermore, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has also promoted the "growth spurt" of the tourist industry in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In 2009, Tibet received more than 5.5 million tourists, an increase of 40 percent from the previous record number in 2007. It is now easier than ever to travel to Tibet.
The officer quoted relevant statistical data showing that over the three years between 2007 through 2009, Tibet's GDP was up each year by 14 percent, 10 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Qinghai's GDP was up by almost 13 percent in the first two years and by 10 percent in the following year. In 2009, Qinghai's GDP topped the milestone of 100 billion yuan.
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Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 -
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