(TibetanReview.net, Dec01’20) – The Lhasa-Nyingchi (Tibetan: Nyingtri) section of China’s highly strategic Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be completed and become operational in 2021, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Nov 30.
The 435-km section, linking Lhasa and Nyingchi within Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), will be the second of the three sections of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway to be completed and to begin operation.
China announced the start of the construction of the most difficult section, the Ya’an-Nyingchi section, only recently following a call by President Xi Jinping to ensure its qualitative and speedy completion due to its great strategic importance. The railway is expected to play a key role in rushing supplies, arms and troops to Chinese occupied Tibet’s border with India.
About 75 percent of the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway is bridges and tunnels, and over 90 percent of the railway is at over 3,000 meters above sea level, the report noted.
The report said more than 20,000 builders had been working on this section of the railway since the end of 2014. “They encounter anoxia, noxious gases and rock bursts when constructing tunnels.”
The report said all 120 bridges and 47 tunnels on the railway were completed in the first half of this year.
It will be the first electric railway in TAR and will have a designed speed of 160 km per hour.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan Province, travelling through Ya’an, and enters TAR via Qamdo (Chamdo).