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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 10:09, July 02, 2006
Backgrounder: Key facts about Qinghai-Tibet Railway
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China opens the world's most elevated railroad, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, on Saturday. Below are some facts about the Qinghai-Tibet Railway:

-- Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the first railroad linking Tibet with the rest of China.

-- China has solved three major difficulties, namely frozen tundra, high altitude and plateau environmental protection, to rewrite the world's history of railway construction with the completion of Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

-- None of the hundreds of thousands of railway builders died of altitude sickness in the past five years.

-- Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the world's highest railway. Some 960 kilometers of its tracks are located 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point is 5,072 meters, at least 200 meters higher than the Peruvian railway in the Andes, which was formerly the world's most elevated rail.

-- The railway is the world's longest plateau railroad, extending 1,956 kilometers from Qinghai's provincial capital Xining to Lhasa in Tibet. The newly completed Golmud-Lhasa section zigzags 1,142 kilometers across the Kunlun and Tanggula mountain ranges.

-- About 550 kilometers of the tracks run on frozen earth, the longest in any of the world's plateau railways.

-- Tanggula Railway Station, 5,068 meters above sea level, is the highest railway station in the world.

-- Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 4,905 meters above sea level, is the world's most elevated tunnel on frozen earth.

-- Kunlun Mountain Tunnel, running 1,686 meters, is the world's longest plateau tunnel built on frozen earth.

-- Upon its completion, the maximum train speed is designed to reach 100 kilometers per hour in the frozen earth areas and 120 kilometers per hour on non-frozen earth.

-- Construction of the Golmud-Lhasa section of the landmark railway commenced on June 29, 2001.

-- About 29.46 billion yuan (3.68 billion U.S. dollars) had been spent on the Golmud-Lhasa section which runs 1,142 kilometers.

-- The basic coach ticket, called a hard seat, sells for 389 yuan (48.6 U.S. dollars) from Beijing to Lhasa, while the price for hard sleeper or bunk costs 813 yuan (101.6 dollars), and the price for a shared compartment or soft sleeper is 1,262 yuan (157. 75 dollars).


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