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tibet (PRWEB) January 20, 2014
With the completion of track-laying, the railway from Lhasa to Shigatse is expected to be open to traffic in 2014. It means that the world’s highest railway, Qinghai-Tibet Railway has extended further west to Shigatse, the city nearest to Mt. Everest. The top online Tibet tour operator, Tibet Travel ORG CITS also announces that it will expand its train tour service to Shigatse and Everest Base Camp.
The Lhasa-Shigatse Railway is 253 km, including 90 kilometers in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon. It connects the top two tourist cities of Tibet, Lhasa and Shigatse. Lhasa, the capital and the spiritual center of Tibet, is home to many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka. As Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse is famous for Tashilhunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. Shigatse is located on the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu, and therefore it is very convenient to travel from Shigatse to other Tibetan areas.
The construction of this line was started in September 2010. By the end of 2012, the project had completed 82.3 kilometers track laying, 27.83 percent of the total construction. In May 2013, its longest tunnel, the 10.41 kilometers Penyinla Tunnel was completed. In September 2013, the railway spanned over the Yarlung Zangbo River for the first time. By November 2013, all the subgrade construction, culverts, tunnels and bridges had been finished.
During the construction, engineers designed route detour around nature reserves and drinking water sources to better protect the fragile plateau environment. The construction cost around 13 billion Yuan (about 2 billion U.S. dollars). The extension line is capable of transporting 8.3 million tons of cargo every year, according to previous reports. Thirteen railway stations were built along the line. The average distance between each station is approximately 22.5 km. The trains are expected to run at a speed of over 120 km/h.
After the completion of the extension line, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway will further expand its influence in the region, improve the transportation in southwest Tibet, ameliorate the single highway-based transportation structure and promote the local economic development. Spanning 1,956 km from Xining to Lhasa, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has carried over 13 million passengers to and from Tibet since its launch in July 2006. Its second extension from Lhasa to Nyingchi is under construction. The railway will probably be extended further to Nepal.
With the construction of these new extension lines, tourists can travel in Tibet more easily. The tour cost will also be greatly cut down. For instance, those who are just interested in visiting Mt. Everest can take a train from mainland China to Shigatse directly. Lots of time and money can be saved.
With rich experience in operating Qinghai-Tibet Railway tours, Tibet Travel ORG CITS offers various train trips to Tibet from major cities of mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xining.