Lhasa-Xigaze railway to open by the end of 2014

The railway that links Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet autonomous region, and Xigaze, the region’s second-largest city, will begin operations by the end of 2014, a senior Tibetan legislator said on Thursday.

The construction of the railway has been progressing well despite some geological difficulties, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan People’s Congress.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the ongoing 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.

The railway from Lhasa to Xigaze is the first extension of the world’s highest-altitude rail link, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in July 2006. The construction of the extension started in September 2010.

The extension, which has a budget of 13.3 billion yuan ($1.98 billion), will have 253 kilometers, according to the National Reform and Development Commission.

The new section will pass through five counties and over the 90-km long Yarlun Zangbo Grand Canyon.

Problems with frozen earth — which plagued the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway — will not be seen this time because the extension line won’t pass near frozen earth areas, Qiangba Puncog added.

Source : chinadaily.com

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