(TibetanReview.net, May22’19) – Work on the Tibet section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, China’s second railway link to the region, is proceeding at a fast pace with work on the Chamdo section expected to begin next month, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn May 22. Described as the world’s most geographically challenging railway project, trains will travel at 200 km/h, with some segments limited to 160 km/h, once it is completed, the report said.
The report said a draft plan was presented May 22 by China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd, which it said was designing the line.
The 1,600-kilometer-long line will start from Sichuan’s capital Chengdu, pass through Ya’an in China before entering Tibet through Kangding (Tibetan: Dartsedo) and proceeding to Lhasa via Qamdo (Chamdo).
The report noted that the line’s 140-kilometer Chengdu-Ya’an high-speed railway in China, which serves part of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, had started operation last year with a maximum speed of 200 km/h.
The report said the railway line’s Ya’an-Nyingchi (Nyingtri) section is believed to be one of the world’s most challenging railway projects to build, as it will traverse the southeast portion of the Tibetan Plateau, which has intricate and difficult geological conditions.
The report cited previous reports as saying 80 percent of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will consist of tunnels and bridges, with the cumulative ascent of the line exceeding 16,000 meters, which is equivalent to double the height of Mount Everest.
Once completed the travel time by rail between Chengdu and Lhasa will shorten from 48 hours to about 13 hours, the report added.