(TibetanReview.net, Jan01’21) – China began the year 2021 with an announcement that it had completed the day before the track-laying work for the building of its railway Line between Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and the border city close to India of Nyingchi (Tibetan: Nyingtri).
With a designed speed of 160 km per hour, the 435-km rail line passes through 47 tunnels and 120 bridges, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 1, citing its constructor Tibet Railway Construction Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China State Railway Group.
The Lhasa-Nyingchi railway is part of China’s highly strategic Sichuan-Tibet Railway which starts from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. It travels through Ya’an and enters Tibet via Kangding (Dartsedo) in Sichuan Province before crossing into Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) through Qamdo (Chamdo).
Emphasizing its strategic importance, President Xi Jinping instructed officials last month to expedite the railway’s construction.
The report said the Lhasa-Nyingchi section will begin operation in June this year. Within China, the Changdu-Ya’an section has already been in service for some time.
The middle section, from Ya’an to Nyingchi, remains one of the most challenging section in the history of railway building. And the construction is set to begin any time if not already underway.
The construction of the Lhasa-Nyingchi section started in 2014. It is the first electrified railroad in TAR, the report said.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be the second railway into Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway which runs between Lhasa and Xining (Ziling), capital of Qinghai Province.