The total amount of goods transported in and out of Tibet is expected to hit 2.8 million tons in 2010, with 75 percent being handled by the Qinghai-Tibet railway, said the Chinese Ministry of Railways on Monday.
The 2010 figure will be five times that of the amount in 2000. A total of 24,300 tons have been transported via the railway since it opened on July 1.
The railway has transported 200,000 passengers in and out of Tibet over the past 45 days, said the ministry. Currently, only three pairs of trains running from Beijing, Chengdu (Chongqing) and Xining (Lanzhou) have been in service.
Most of the goods carried into Tibet are grain, coal and construction materials, while the goods transported out of Tibet to the inland regions are mineral resources including chrome ores, boron ores and iron ores, with the total volume expected to hit 300,000 tons by the end of this year.
The low-cost of transport along the railway has helped boost the surging cargo demand between Tibet and the inland areas. According to the ministry, the cost of railway transport on the Qinghai-Tibet railway is 75 percent less than that of the highways.
To meet the market demand, a pair of freight trains have been running every day between Golmud and Lhasa since July 22.
The 1,956-km-long Qinghai-Tibet railway stretches from Xining to Lhasa. It is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad and also the first railway to connect Tibet with the rest of China.