About ten years ago, while taking Tibet Tours, you can only take a flight or drive a car to get there. However, you can also take a train to go to Tibet now. So, when you decide to travel to Tibet, take a train to start the plateau journey this time.

The Qianghai-Tibet railway is considered as a miracle of railway construction all over the world. It is a high-altitude railway that connects Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, in People’s Republic of China. The total length of Qinghai-Tibet railway is 1956 km (1215 mi). Construction of the 815 km (506 mi) section between Xining and Golmud was completed by 1984. The 1142 km (709 mi) section between Golmud and Lhasa was accomplished on 1 July 2006. The line includes the Tanggula Pass, which, at 5,072 m (16,640 feet) above sea level, is the world’s highest rail track. More than 960 km, or over 80% of the Golmud-Lhasa section, is at an altitude of more than 4,000 m. There are 675 bridges, in total 159.88 km, and about 550 km of the railway is laid on permafrost.


In addition, the trains are specially designed for high altitude environment. The diesel locomotives used on Golmud-Lhasa section were made by GE in Pennsylvania, and the passenger carriages are Chinese-made 25T carriages. Meanwhile, the carriages have an oxygen system for each passenger. Besides, each train has a doctor to deal with emergency situation. During the construction of Qianghai-Tibet Railway, it overcame a lot of difficulties and accomplished a series of tough mission. In Tibet, people call this railway “Road to Heaven”.

Lhasa train station

Qianghai-Tibet railway dramatically improved the economic growth of Tibet. Due to limited industrial capacity in Tibet, the Tibetan economy heavily relies on industrial products from more developed parts of China. Transport of goods in and out of Tibet was mostly through the Qingzang Highway connecting Tibet to the adjacent Qinghai province, which was built in the early 1950s. However, Qingzhang Highway is unable to meet the needs of economic development of Tibet. With the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the situation has improved
a lot. First of all, the cost of transportation of both passengers and goods should be greatly reduced. It is projected that by 2010, 2.8 million tons will be carried to and from Tibet, with over 75% carried by the railway. This is expected to help support the Tibetan economy.

For tourists, traveling with Qianghai-Tibet railway to Tibet will be a rather nice journey. You can take the train from Beijing. It will take you all the long way going across China to Lhasa. Along the journey, you will witness various kinds of gorgeous landscapes. Especially from Golmud to Lhasa, you will have a good view of Tibet plateau. Do not hesitate now and book China Hotels to stay.




Jack Li
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