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Home >> China
UPDATED: 07:46, July 03, 2006
Key facts about rail on 'roof of the world'
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The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the first railroad linking Tibet with the rest of China.

China has solved three major difficulties, frozen tundra, high altitude and plateau environmental protection, to rewrite the history of global railway construction.

None of the hundreds of thousands of railway builders died of altitude sickness during the construction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upon its completion, the maximum train speed is designed to reach 100 kilometres per hour in the frozen earth areas and 120 kilometres 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 (US$3.68 billion) has been spent on the Golmud-Lhasa section which runs 1,142 kilometres.

A hard seat sells for 389 yuan (US$48.6) from Beijing to Lhasa, while hard sleeper costs 813 yuan (US$101), and the price for a soft sleeper is 1,262 yuan (US$158).


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