(TibetanReview.net, Oct21, 2018) – China has called the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, whose building President Xi Jinping recently called for being speeded up, the most challenging railway project in the world. Its globaltimesw.cn website Oct 19 made a graphic presentation to explain how this was so, saying the railway, with 80 percent of it running on bridges and in tunnels, will be operational by 2026.
The graphic shows that the 1700-km, 250 billion yuan ($36.88 billion) train service between Sichuan’s capital Chengdu and Tibet’s capital Lhasa will go through eight ascends and descends, with the cumulative ascents exceeding 16,000 metres.
Apart from Ya’an, all the major stations of the train service are in Tibet, namely, Kangding (Tibetan: Dartsedo), Lithang, Chamdo, Bangda (Pomda), and Nyingchi (Nyingtri). The Bangda station, at 4,300 metres above mean sea level, is the highest.
The graphic explains that the train will cross 14 major rivers and go over 21 snow capped mountains. It also says that more than 80 percent of the line will be tunnels and bridges.
Once completed by 2026, trains will travel between Chengdu and Lhasa in a speed range of 160 klm/h to 200 km/h, cutting the travel time between the two cities from 48 hours at present to just 13 hours.