Lhasa-Shigatse Railway
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Lhasa-Shigatse Railway

Update: Mar. 13th, 2013

Lhasa-Shigatse Railway

Lhasa-Shigatse Railway – Brief Introduction

The construction of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway was started on September 26th, 2010. It starts from Lhasa Railway Station (the terminal of Qinghai-Tibet Railway) in the east and ends at Shigatse (the second largest city in Tibet) in the southwest. Lhasa-Shigatse Railway has a total length of 253 kilometers and its construction involves an investment of 10.8 billion RMB.

The complement and operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway greatly promoted the economic development and market prosperity of Tibet Autonomous Region, improved the travel condition, decreased the transportation cost, and strengthened the bond between Tibet and other domestic cities. Besides, Qinghai-Tibet Railway also makes the international communication more smooth and motivated the development of the tourism in Tibet.

Noted as the second largest city in Tibet, Shigatse is also an important border port with a large population. It also plays important role in the foreign trade, agriculture development and culture industry in Tibet. The construction of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway is of great significance in improving the transportation condition and investment environment in Shigatse. This railway will also accelerate the economical development and improve the living standard of Tibetans in Shigatse Prefecture.

Lhasa-Shigatse Railway – Environmental Protection

It is reported that the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway passes round several natural reserves for the consideration of ecological protection. The whole project will not involve any ecologically sensitive region, such as the natural reserves and the water conservation district. The construction of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway has little influence on the land resources and aboveground vegetation along this journey. Certain land reclamation and vegetation recovery measures will be adopted to make Lhasa-Shigatse Railway a world-class environmental railway.

Lhasa-Shigatse Railway – Significance

The construction of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway will explore the maximum development potential of Qinghai-Tibet Railway and make its maximum function come into play. The Ministry of Railways expresses that the complement of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway will further expands the influence range of Qinghai-Tibet Railway and then single highway transportation structure in Tibet will be changed. Tourists planning to visit Mt. Everest, Tashilhunpo Monastery or other scenic spots in Shigatse could get to Shigatse by train directly after the operation of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway.

With the step-down of Tibet railway construction, the Tibet railway network will be completed gradually. A Y-shaped network will be formed by the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, Lhasa-Shigatse Railway and Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway. The complement of the railway network in Tibet will greatly promote the development of the tourism industry in Tibet. Then tourists making a Tibet tour will have one more choice in transportation measures in Tibet.

According to the latest news, the construction of Lhasa-Shigatse Railway will be completed in the end of this year or the beginning of the next year. According to statistics, Tibet received 11 million tourists both at home and abroad in 2012 and realized a tourism revenue of 13.2 billion RMB. The passenger transport capacity keeps increasing by 10 percent since the operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway and there are an increasing number of tourists willing to enter into Tibet by train rather than taking the flight.

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