2014-03-18
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Lhasa-Shigatse will be opened to traffic in September 2014

Time:2014-03-18By: TiffanySource: Chinanews.cn

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According to the Construction Headquarter of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, the highest railway above the sea level (also noted as the extended line of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway) is expected to be completed and opened to traffic officially in September, 2014. The second largest city in Tibet - Shigatse will end their history without railway.

As the extended line of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway involves a total length of 253 kilometers and a total investment of more than 13 billion yuan. The designed running speed of the trains on the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway is 120 kilometers per hour, which means tourists could get to Shigatse by railway in two hours. Compared to travel to Shigatse by driving, the railway transportation is much for time-saving. There are 13 railway stations along the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, among which 5 of them are passenger stations.

The railway construction on Tibet Plateau, is pretty difficult for a series of problems have to be taken into considerarion, including the severe natural environment characterized by low oxygen, complicated terrain, and frozen earth. In addition, the designers have to concern about the environment protection and animal migration on Tibet Plateau. According to the secretary of the engineering department of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, the construction department has made a series of regulations regarding the environment protection in consideration of the weak ecological vegetation on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In order not to affect the migration of the wild animals, the construction team has left a gateway for the animals in the main areas.

Currently, the main construction of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway has been completed comprehensively, including the construction of the roadbed, bridge, culvert, railway track. The construction of the houses, electric power, communication and some other relevant facilities in the railway stations are undergoing. The construction department will continue to spend efforts in the installation and debugging of the electrical equipments. Therefore, the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway is expected to be opened to traffic in the coming September.

The construction of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway was started in January 2011. The railway enjoys an average altitude of 3600 - 4000 meters. Lhasa-Shigatse Railway could not only meet the increasing transportation demands, but also motivate the economic development in southwest Tibet. Shigatse is a famous tourism destination attracts visitors with its rich natural and cultural tourism resources. Noted as the must-visit site in Shigatse, Tashilhunpo Monastery could receive more than 0.2 million visitors every year. The opening of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway will promote the cultural diffusion in Shigatse and attracts more visitors here for sightseeing. There is no doubt that the improvement of the transportation will promote the local economic development and bacic facilitis up-grade.

Except for the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, another extended line of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway - Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway is also under planning and its construction will be started in September. Different regions will be linked with railways and it will be more convenient for tourists to visit the scenic spots in different regions in Tibet. And also, the railway transportation is much more cost-effective than the vehicle rental during the Tibet tours.

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