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China plans 5000-km railway lines, 59 general aviation airports in TAR by 2035

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(TibetanReview.net, Feb08’23) – China will crisscross Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) with a network of 4,000 kilometres of railway lines by 2025, reported the official globaltimes.cn Feb 7, citing the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the medium- and long-term railway network plans released by the region’s authority recently. And by 2035, the total railway network in TAR will reach 5,000 kilometres or more, including 1,000 kilometres of double-track railway lines. Besides, each county in TAR is envisaged to have one or more general aviation airports by 2035.

The region currently has only three railway lines in operation: the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, put in operation in Jul 2006, the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway which opened in 2014 and Lhasa-Nyingtri Railway which started in 2021. The report said that as of the end of 2021, TAR had 1,359 kilometres of railway lines in operation.

However, with Lhasa as the centre, the report said, the railway network will cover all prefecture- and city-level administrative regions in TAR and provide convenient access to Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and other neighbouring provinces as well as major land ports along the border.

The TAR also plans to build an international railway corridor to South Asia to open the international railway channel between China and South Asian countries, the report said.

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Major new railway lines set to become operational by 2025 have been stated to include the section between Ya’an in Sichuan Province and Nyingtri city in TAR of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway; the section between Shigatse and Pelku Lake in TAR of the Xinjiang-Tibet Railway; and the section from Bomi County to Ranwu Lake of the Yunnan-Tibet Railway.

Also completed will be the electrification of the section from Golmud city Qinghai Province to Lhasa city in TAR of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Also completed will be the double-track reconstruction of the section between Pelku Lake and Hotan in Xinjiang on the Xinjiang-Tibet Railway and the Lhasa-Nyingtri Railway.

The year 2025 will also see China start a new railway project, namely the railway in Kyirong County of Shigatse City.

Railway passenger trips in TAR will reach 5.62 million by 2025 and about 9.68 million by 2035, the report said.

Regarding cargo, 1.09 million tons of goods will be delivered while 10.29 million tons of freight will arrive by rail by 2025. And these figures will hit 1.79 million tons and 13.03 million tons respectively by 2035.

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Besides, an aviation development plan for 2021-2035, released on Feb 2, was stated to envisage the realization of one or more general aviation airports in each county-level region in TAR by 2035.

The report said that under the plans, TAR will have, by 2025, vigorously promoted the construction of general aviation airports and supporting security facilities with the aim to build 14 new general aviation airports.

Under the latest announced plans, TAR will have 59 general aviation airports by 2035, basically realizing that each county has one or more general aviation airports, while aviation services will cover more than 95%t of the region’s population, the report said.

The long-term goal of TAR is to achieve leapfrog development in general aviation by 2035, the report added.


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