(TibetanReview.net, May07’22) – China has completed on May 5 the construction of a major tunnel for its Yunnan-Tibet Railway project after more than eight years’ effort, reported the scmp.com May 6. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain tunnel is located near Lijiang city in southwest China’s Yunnan province and connects China with Tibet.
It is a part of the Lijiang-Shangri-La railway, a crucial section of the Yunnan-Tibet Railway, the report said. The construction was stated to have come with many challenges. More than 200 incidents, including gushing mud and flooding, had delayed the construction, the report said.
Shangri-La is China’s new name for the Kham Tibetan area of Gyalthang which is now part of China’s Yunnan Province. So, the tunnel’s construction represents the ongoing project’s linking up of China with Tibet.
The report said the Lijiang-Shangri-La railway had 20 tunnels in total, with 19 having been dug through so far. It is expected to enter operation later this year.
Upon completion, passengers will be able to travel from Kunming city, capital of Yunnan, to Shangri-La in four hours.
The whole of Yunnan-Tibet Railway construction is scheduled to be completed by 2030.
The Yunnan Tibet Railway belongs to China’s “Five Railways to Tibet” project, together with the already operational Qinghai Tibet Railway, as well as the Sichuan Tibet Railway, the Xinjiang Tibet Railway and the Gansu-Tibet Railway whose constructions are underway.
The Yunnan Tibet Railway starts from Kunming, extends to west Guangdong, which is part of Chengdu Kunming Railway. Aafter reaching Dali, the rail goes northwest to Lijiang along the famous picturesque Erhai Lake, then passes through the Tiger Leaping Gorge to enter the Tibetan territory of Shangri-La.