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Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway is expected to open to traffic in June 2021

By Liu Fang, Tenzin Sydron Source:China Tibet News 2021年04月21日 10:35

With the total length of 435.5 kilometers and a designed speed of 160 kilometers per hour, Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway, the first electrified railroad of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, linking Lhasa and Nyingchi City, has officially entered acceptance stage. So far, all the tunnels, bridges, roadbeds and framing works of the railway have been completed and it's expected to open to traffic on June 30 this year.

The construction of Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway started in June 2015. More than 90% of the railway is on the Tibetan plateau at over 3,000 meters above sea level, where the geological conditions are complex. Notably, 74.66% of its length runs on bridges or in tunnels. There are 120 bridges and 47 tunnels in total. It crosses the Yarlung Tsangpo River 16 times. This project presents its builders multiple difficulties to overcome. 

The railway will optimize and improve the layout of Tibet's transportation network, ending the history of no trains in southeast Tibet.

Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway is an important part of Sichuan-Tibet Railway. The railway connecting Lhasa and Chengdu is divided into sections. The section from Chengdu to Ya'an was put into operation in December 2018.

The section from Ya'an to Nyingchi is about 1,011 kilometers. The construction of the first phase project--"two tunnels and one bridge" (Serkyim La Mountain Tunnel, Kangding No. 2 Tunnel and Dadu River Bridge), has started since the end of last year. Due to the complex geological and climatic conditions, fragile ecological environment, long construction mileage, and a great number of bridges and tunnels, the construction period will exceed 10 years.

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