Qinghai-Tibet Railway Project to Start on June 29
BEIJING, June 18 -- The massive construction project
of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is scheduled to begin on June 29,
when inauguration ceremonies will be held simultaneously in
Beijing, Lhasa and Golmud in Qinghai, sources with railway
department said Sunday.
Ten successful bidders for the totally state-funded project
from within China are moving their work forces, equipment and
logistics to the highland work sites of the railway, officials
with the Ministry of Railways said.
The State Council set up a leading group for the construction
of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in late February this year, followed
by the Ministry of Railways' installation of its command
headquarters for this project. Related government organizations
have also been put in place in Qinghai Province and the Tibet
The railway linking Xining, the capital city of Qinghai
Province, and Lhasa, the regional capital of Tibet, will be 1,956
kilometers in length. The northern part from Xining to Golmud, a
traffic hub in Qinghai, was completed in 1984.
Upon completion in six years, the railway will be the highest
railroad in the world. Most importantly, it will end a history of
the Tibet Autonomous Region not being accessible by train.
After the project is completed, the railway will be extended to
Shigaze and Linzhi in Tibet, as well as Yunnan Province.
According to officials with the Ministry of Railways, over 1,
700 engineers, who were sent to the railway line for survey,
handed in a feasibility report at the end of April. Shop drawings
for several of the most difficult tunnel projects have been
approved by the government.
Experts pointed out that the project will encounter three major
problems -- the geological impact, frozen soil, and the sheer cold
and oxygen shortage caused by high altitude.
On the issue of possible environmental consequences of the
plateau railway, various studies have been conducted and plans
have been formulated to ensure the protection of ecological
environment along the railway.
Glacier experts have conducted investigations in the areas,
while railways built on frozen soil in Russia and Canada have also
been studied. In addition, sources disclosed that magnetic
materials and new technology will be used in the project.
Health protection methods for working at high-altitude areas
have been worked out by the Ministry of Public Health to deal with
the lack of oxygen and high ultraviolet radiation. Hospitals are
being set up along the construction line, the Ministry of Railways
-- source: Xinhua News Agency
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