Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's highest railway, extends 1956 kilometers from Xining to Lhasa. About 960 kilometers of the line is more that 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point is 5,072 meters. The railway was commissioned on July 1 2006. The first three trains to run on the railway are trains from Beijing to Lhasa, Chengdu(Chongqing) to Lhasa and Xining-Lhasa.
The railway construction project is divided into two phases. The first phase covering 814 km from Xining to Gomuld was finished in 1979. The second phase commenced in June 2001 with the aim of connecting Gomuld and Lhasa, a distance of 1142 km. The project has cost approximately 26.2 billion RMB.
Some interesting facts about the Railway
The railway 1956 kilometers from Xining to Lhasa.
About 960 kilometers of the line is more that 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point is 5,072 meters.
About 550 kilometers of the track is laid on frozen earth, the longest distance anywhere in the world.
The highest railway station on the route is Tanggula Station which is 5068 above sea level, making it the highest station in the world.
Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 4, 905 meters above sea level is the world’s most elevated tunnel built on frozen earth.
Kunlun Mountain Tunnel, running 1,686 meters, is the world's longest plateau tunnel built on frozen earth.
The train is designed to operate at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour in the frozen earth areas and 120 kilometers per hour on non-frozen earth.
The built of Qingzang Railway will end the non-railway period in Tibet Autonomous Region, and further improve the local transportation conditions and investment environment. Moreover, it will facilitate the development of natural resources and economic growth. It will play a key role in enhancing communication between the inland area and Tibet, promoting cultural exchanges between Tibetan Nationality and other ethnic groups, accelerating national unity, and benefiting residents nearby the railway.