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A New Railway on the Tibetan Plateau is Expected to Open to Traffic this Year

2/11/2021
The new section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from the existing Chengdu-Ya’an Railway Ya’an Station and connecting to Nyingchi Station on the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway under construction.

On the morning of December 31, 2020, at the track laying site of Nyingchi Station on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway (hereinafter referred to as the Lalin Railway), the operator laid the last 25-meter rail row on the base of the mainline of Nyingchi Station, marking The 399.61-kilometer main track of the Lalin Railway has been paved, laying a solid foundation for the next operation.

The main line of the Lalin Railway is 435.5 kilometers long. The newly-built main line is 403.1 kilometers. It is a single-track electrified Class I railway with a design speed of 160 kilometers per hour. There are 34 new stations on the whole line, and 17 stations will be opened initially. The whole line is planned to be completed and opened to traffic on June 30, 2021.

The Lalin Railway runs through the Yarlung Tsangpo suture belt between the Gangdise block and the Himalaya block of the Tibetan Plateau. More than 90% of the sections are located at high altitudes above 3000 meters. Therefore, the Lalin Railway is facing a harsh natural environment with high cold and low oxygen in the snowy plateau and fragile ecologyfrequent and variable aeolian sand, moraine, strong rockburst, high ground temperature, and the complex geological environment such as large deformation of soft rock. The construction of the project is extremely difficult.

According to Shen Yubin, Lalin Railway Laying Project Manager of China Railway 11th Bureau Group Company, since Lalin Railway started laying on October 19, 2017, more than 1,200 people have participated in the construction of the entire line. The "Video Pilot" innovatively developed by China Railway 11th Bureau, Real-time monitoring, train alarm, locomotive positioning in the tunnel and other functions greatly ensure transportation safety and have accumulated valuable experience in the construction of long and large tunnel groups for the same type of railway.

After the Lalin Railway is completed and opened to traffic, it will further optimize and improve the layout of the transportation network in our region, end the history of no trains in southeast Tibet, inject new vitality into the local economic and social development. It also provides a more convenient transportation channel for the construction of the Nyingchi-Ya'an section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway.

The Lalin Railway is a railway connecting Lhasa Station in Lhasa City to Nyingchi Station in Bayi District, Nyingchi City. It starts at Lhasa Railway Station (the truck starts at Lhasa South Station), goes down the Lhasa River, turns east via Gongga, passes through Nedong (Zedang Town in Shannan City), Lang County, and Milin, and crosses the Yarlung Tsangpo River to Nyingchi Station. It will be very convenient to travel to Nyingchi then.

On October 31, 2020, the "two tunnels and one bridge" of the early construction section of the Ya'an-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway and the bidding results of the construction power supply project were officially announced. The order of the winning bidders for the seven major sections of the Yalin section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway was scheduled. The 7 major engineering bureaus were honored on the list, marking the immediate start of the construction of the most difficult section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, which has been planned for a hundred years and surveyed for 70 years. However, chartered cars on the Sichuan-Tibet line are currently the main ones.

The new Ya'an-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from the existing Chengdu-Ya'an Railway Ya'an Station, passing through Ya'an City in Sichuan Province, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Changdu and Nyingchi City in Tibet Autonomous Region, and connecting to Nyingchi Station of the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway under construction. The length of the newly-built main line is 1011 kilometers, and there are 26 stations on the whole line. The line is a national Class I double-track railway with a design speed of 120 to 200 kilometers per hour. The estimated total investment of the project is about 319.8 billion yuan.

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