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The bullet train travelling through the clouds in the Himalaya mountains


Nov 4, 2011
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The bullet train travelling through the clouds in the Himalaya mountains
By Frankie Youd


For the first time in history, individuals visiting Tibet can experience the area’s mountains and views at high speed, via Tibet’s first ever bullet train. Stretching 435km the line connects the capital city of Lhasa with the city of Nyingchi allowing all 31 provinces of mainland China access to this new line. Featuring 47 tunnels, 121 bridges and a 525m long bridge – making it the largest and highest arch bridge of its kind in the world – building this railway line was no easy task. We explore the development of the project and highlight some of its impressive design features.

The Lhasa -Nyingchi line cost $5.6bn, taking over six years to construct the route, many design features have been included on the train as well as daring engineering to make the route possible.

World record breaking construction
Dubbed ‘The Roof of the World’ – due to it being three miles above sea level – the Tibetan Plateau is a vast, flat area of land enclosed by some of the tallest mountains in the world. Constructing the railway line at this altitude and on a rock dominated surface was a daring and challenging experience for the team who worked to establish the line. Stretching 435km the line gives provincial-level regions of mainland China access to the new high-speed way of train travel.

The Lhasa-Nyingchi line sees 90% of the route sitting at altitudes higher than 3,000 metres above seal level as it traverses through mountain tunnels, bridges, and archways. Featuring 47 tunnels and 121 bridges which make up for 75% of the entire route, the line also incudes a 525m long Zangmu Railway Bridge making it the largest and highest arch bridge in the world. The highest section of the rail line stands over 5,100m above sea level, a record height for any electrified railway in the world.

With the route cutting through tunnels and over impressively engineered bridges this will enable passengers to take in the features of the Tibetan landscape from above as they enjoy their journey. On route passengers will be able to see the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon as well as the Nanga Bawa Peak – the highest mountain in the Nyingchi region of Tibet with an altitude of 7783m.


An array of design features
Manufactured by state-owned China State Railway Group, the “Fuxing” electric bullet trains have been independently developed by China and boast a number of impressive design features. Each bullet train integrates the internet, cloud computing, 5G and other new technologies which see nine different intelligent operation and monitoring systems being onboard.

Facilities onboard the train also offer passengers a sense of modern-age travel with smart vending machines and intelligent lighting in toilets. Onboard the train, conductors also provide services to passengers such as medical assistance, guidance, and translation.

Alongside these impressive technology-based design features and services the trains provide for passengers, other design features have been included with safety in mind. With the train travelling at higher altitudes than normal passenger travel this sees the trains being equipped with an automated oxygen supply system – ensuring that oxygen levels are kept at 23.6% at all times, which is higher than the average 21% found at normal atmosphere level.

Paired with the inclusion of the oxygen system the train’s windows have also received unique design features: UV resistant glass. This special layer of glass has been designed to withstand the region’s high UV levels which are present in higher altitudes due to less atmosphere being present for it to be absorbed.

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Fastest Train in Tibet: My Awesome Lhasa to Nyingchi Bullet Train Experience

Tashi Delek! Did you ever imagine a high-tech bullet train running through the third pole on Earth? Today, I will share my first experience on the bullet train in Tibet, the high-speed train journey from Lhasa to Nyingchi.

The Lhasa Nyingchi railway is a part of the Sichuan-Tibet railway, and it is the first electrified railway in Tibet. The total length of the Lhasa Nyingch railway is about 450km and it takes only 3 hours. What is it like to run from Lhasa to Nyingchi at an average speed of 160km per hour?

It is awesome! At the same time, it is also steady, quiet, and comfortable. There are three classes of seats available on the train. Come and see my experience in the luxury business class.

Also, I will show you the highlights along the railway Lhasa to Nyingchi, and a homemade lunch in my friend’s house in Nyingchi. Hoping these will give you some new ideas about traveling to Tibet.
This bullet train line is also a strategic one, it is only 15 kilometers from LAC with India, can greatly help with PLA fast deployment and supplies.

How fast the bullet train can transport troops? It only takes 3.5 hours to move a combined arms heavy brigade to the Chinese Indian border

The Lhasa-Nyingchi line helps PLA move troops in south Tibet

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