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Much of Dartsedo-Nyingtri section of Sichuan-Tibet Railway to be tunnels

Sichuan-Tibet Railway. (Photo courtesy: Tibet Travel)
Sichuan-Tibet Railway. (Photo courtesy: Tibet Travel)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep02, 2018) – A signification portion of the Kangding-Nyingchi (or Dartsedo-Nyingtri) section of China’s ambitious Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be tunnels, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Aug 31, citing a preliminary study of the section. There will be at least 10 rail tunnels, each longer the 10 km, the report added, citing the local party mouthpiece Tibet Daily. Dartsedo is the traditional dry port between China and Tibet.

He Huawu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was cited as saying the current plan was for the total length of the rail tunnels in the Kangding-Nyingchi section to be 843 kilometres. He was speaking at a seminar on key technologies for building high-speed railways in complicated mountainous areas that was held in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Aug 26.

The report said the longest rail tunnel, extending 42.5 km, would be the longest in the People’s Republic of China, eclipsing one that is 32-km-long on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

The plan was reported to envisage that there would be six rail tunnels in the Kangding-Nyingchi section longer than 30 km.

The report cited China Railway Corp as saying Aug 31 the design plan was “not final” but just part of preliminary research on the construction of the Kangding-Nyingchi section, as it was yet to be approved by the authorities.

The Sichuan-Tibet line will be the second railway line connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other Tibetan regions and China, following the 1,956-km Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in 2006.

The report said experts had dubbed the Sichuan-Tibet Railway as China’s most challenging rail project since it will have to go through intricate and difficult geological conditions, with its construction having to overcome frozen earth, landslides and rock slides.

The report noted that some easier parts of the line had been built in the past few years. However, the construction of the Kangding-Nyingchi section was yet to start due to the difficulties involved.

Trains on the Sichuan-Tibet line will travel at between 160 and 200 kilometres per hour. The railway service will cut the travel time between Chengdu and Lhasa from 48 hours to about 13 hours, the report said.

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