The history of railway construction in Tibet

• The history of the railway in Tibet

In just five years and three and a half billion dollars in China built a highway length 1,150 km, will connect the "roof of the world" with the main area of ​​the country.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Back in the early 1920s, the revolutionary Sun Yat-sen in his keynote "China Plan of reconstruction," proposed to build in the country of about 100 000 kilometers of new railways, which included the line and on the Tibetan Plateau. For objective reasons, the idea of ​​"father of the nation" were able to return only in 1950 when Chairman Mao. railway project in Tibet's capital Lhasa was approved for 1960, but its construction was frozen almost half a decade - China hardly reaped "Great Leap Forward".

The history of railway construction in Tibet

only in 1974 the construction of the first section of the future highway from the capital of Xining to Golmud of Qinghai Province on the Tibetan plateau already, resumed. 814 kilometers of railway military forces and prison built in the five years to 1979, but passenger traffic was opened here only in 1984.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Work on the second, high-altitude, land to Lhasa has been associated with engineering tasks particularly difficult: the builders had to work in conditions of permafrost, a lack of oxygen and, moreover, the unique Tibetan ecosystem, preservation of which was announced the Chinese party and government of paramount importance.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Only in the beginning of the XXI century, the country has achieved technology readiness level, which allowed to embark on large-scale infrastructure project. Moreover, the construction of the railway to Lhasa has become a key stage of the program of development of western China, the purpose of which is to eliminate the disparities in the development of the eastern and western regions of the country. Another important, and probably the main, the Chinese government's goal was to strengthen the bonds is Tibetan autonomy, control of which was re-established only in 1950, with the main Chinese territory.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

According to the project, approved in 2000, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, the total length of the new railway was to be 1142 kilometers. On this site it was organized by 45 stations, 38 of which were automatic, unattended operation. Tibet Railway from Golmud rose to a height of 2800 meters above sea level to pass Tanggula Pass (5072 m) and then down again to Lhasa (3642 meters).

The history of railway construction in Tibet

to

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Golmud railway station.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The end terminal in Lhasa.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

About 80% of all new portion (960 kilometers) passed on impassable mountainous areas at over 4000 meters above sea level, of which about 550 kilometers housed in permafrost.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Construction of the railway there was a serious engineering problem. The fact that the top layer of the permafrost has a property in brief summer thaw, sometimes turning into impassable swamp. In this regard, the real threat is the soil shifts that could cause deformation and destruction of the way. To eliminate this risk, the designers of the Qinghai-Tibet road developed a special scheme of its devices, virtually isolating any influence line on the environment and vice versa.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The rails were placed on a special mound of boulders, covered sand layer. The lateral projection of the embankment through a perforated pipe network to provide the best of its air and its slopes were closed by special metal sheets, which reflect sunlight and thus further impede its heat.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

In some parts were arranged still well filled with liquid nitrogen. All these activities actually frozen under a road embankment, preventing heating of the top layer of permafrost, thawing it and subsequent deformation of the railway.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

To compensate for height differences in the areas of construction of a significant portion of pipeline laid on trestles. A total of 1142 kilometers it arranged 675 bridges with a total length of 160 kilometers. Supports these racks are essentially piles, the bases of which lie deep in permafrost, whereby seasonal thawing its upper layer has no influence on the stability of the building structure.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The spacing between columns supports do not hinder the free circulation of air underneath them, which minimizes the additional thermal effect from the railway.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

In addition to the technical component, an important advantage of elevated areas is the fact that they do not impede the free movement under the highway sometimes unique native species. The negative effect of a foreign inclusion in Tibetan ecosystem reduced thereby to a minimum.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Land of Qinghai-Tibet road, laid on the surface of the earth mound, fenced along their entire length, and special tunnels and bridges are built to go regularly laid migrating animals.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

After the completion of Tibet highway has established several records of railway construction. At 350 kilometers from Golmud at a height of 4900 meters above sea level, the highest altitude railway tunnel in the world was built, called Fenghuoshan Tunnel (tunnel Windy volcano)

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The station is Tanggula Pass on the homonymous mountain pass was the highest mountain railway station in the world. The surrounding mountains seem more hills, but it is misleading. In fact, three-way Tanggula Pass located at an altitude of 5068 meters just four meters below the highest point of the whole line (5072 meters).

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Although here and stop the train, in fact it's just a passing point on the single-track line. The station is fully automatic and controlled from Sining where located central control of the whole road. No settlements near there, which, however, did not prevent the Chinese to build a fairly large station, station-worthy champion.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

In most cases, are not even open the doors of the cars. To an untrained person be at a height where the atmospheric pressure is only about 35-40% of the standard sea-level, is a threat to health.

special rolling stock was designed to travel on mountainous areas with their stunning scenery afforded to passengers only fun for the Qinghai-Tibet road. The American corporation General Electric designed for highway diesel NJ2, modified for operation in high altitude, capacity 5100 liters. from. everyone. Locomotives are capable of speeds up to 120 km / h with a composition of 15 wagons. In permafrost their speed is limited to 100 km / h.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The cars for service roads were built in the Chinese plant of the Canadian group Bombardier in the amount of 361 pieces (308 standard and 53 special tourism). All are virtually hermetically isolated from the environment inside the oxygen pressure is maintained close to the standard.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Despite this, bouts of altitude sickness caused by lack of oxygen, in case the passenger. To prevent them every place in cars fitted with individual oxygen tube on the model of the hospital. Tinted windows of cars with a special coating to protect passengers from excessive solar radiation, again typical of high mountains.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Standard cars are divided into the usual and we are three categories: sedentary, reserved seat coupe. In addition, the trains have dining cars.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Bandwidth highway capacity is eight pairs of passenger trains per day (not including freight). Currently, Lhasa is linked to regular passenger traffic not only from the neighboring "regional" center of Xining, but also with the country's largest cities - Beijing and Shanghai. On the way Express Beijing - Lhasa is 44 hours. Ticket prices depending on the class range from $ 125 (reserved seat) to $ 200 (coupe).

The history of railway construction in Tibet

The construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway began in 2001. About 20 000 workers at the same time started laying lines of both endpoints (Golmud and Lhasa), dealt with the responsible task of the party in just five years, spending $ 3, 68 billion dollars. According to official figures, while no one was killed, even though the long-term work is not the most comfortable conditions for this.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

In seven years of operation on the road it was transported over 63 million passengers and 300 million tons of cargo. The annual passenger turnover has increased from 6, 5 million people in 2006, when the highway was put into operation, up to 11 million people in 2012, the annual turnover has increased from 25 million tons in 2006 to 56 million tons in 2012. It is already clear that the new Railway significantly increased the economic development of Tibet and the neighboring Qinghai Province.

Significantly reduce the cost of delivery of goods in Tibet, including especially valuable in the mountains of energy. New impetus to the development of the tourism industry and received, although still just anyone who wishes to leave, for example, Beijing to Lhasa train will not turn. To visit the Chinese government in Tibet as before requires a special permit, without which the train you just do not go to jail.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

Skeptics believe the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is only another step in the gradual colonization of the Chinese kind of autonomous region and the locomotive of the development of its natural resources. Geologists have discovered in the highlands of Tibet copper deposits of lead and zinc raw materials, it is necessary rapidly growing Chinese industry.

The history of railway construction in Tibet

Environmentalists, of course, fear that the presence in the territory of modern railway only spur the Chinese government for the early development of these fields with unpredictable consequences for the fragile ecosystem of the region.

The history of railway construction in Tibet The history of railway construction in Tibet

However, while it is only unsubstantiated fears. But it is difficult to deny the popularity of the road among the Tibetans who have received the ability to easily and quickly get to the highly developed eastern regions of the country, especially among tourists, for whom the highway is a great attraction, created with typical Chinese perseverance literally turn off the mountains.

The history of railway construction in Tibet