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China arranges 1st five scheduled trains to Tibet

2006-05-05

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Transport by Qinghai-Tibet Railway is most expensive The schedule has been set for the first five trains to Tibet via the new Qinghai-Tibet railway which will begin trial operations on July 1, an official with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company said Friday. The first five trains will depart from Beijing, Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Xining, capital of the northwestern Qinghai Province, Shanghai and Guangzhou, capitalof the southern Guangdong Province, according to Mao Baocheng, deputy general manager of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company. Trains bound for Tibet will depart daily from Beijing, Chengdu and Xining. There will be departures from Shanghai and Guangzhou every other day, Ma added. Tickets for the first trains are sold out. The 1,956-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet railway is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad and also the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other parts of China. Some 960 kilometers of its track are located 4,000 meters abovesea 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 highest altitude railway. The railway will have two oxygen-enrichment systems on trains tocombat the effects of altitude sickness. The oxygen level in the carriages will be about 85 percent of that in low-lying plain areas, said Ma, adding that oxygen masks will also be installed near seats for passengers in case they are affected by the high altitude. Zhang Fuhua, an official with the Qinghai tourism administration, expects an additional 800,000 travelers will visit Tibet with the operation of the Qinghai-Tibet railway. Qinghai is working fast to build its tourism infrastructure so it can better cope with the increase in tourists, Zhang said. Enditem

(Source:Xinhua News, LHASA, May 5, 2006, 2006-05-05)