China is all set to begin the construction of the strategic Sichuan-Tibet railway between Ya’an in southwest Sichuan province and Linzhi in Tibet, close to the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh. China Railway announced the construction of two tunnels and one bridge, as well as the power supply project for the Ya’an-Linzhi section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway.
The Sichuan-Tibet railway is the second such project in Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet railway. It will go through the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the world’s most geologically active areas. The Sichuan-Tibet railway starts from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, and travels through Ya’an and enters Tibet via Qamdo, shortening the journey from Chengdu to Lhasa.
The newly-built Ya’an-Linzhi section runs 1,011 kilometres and includes 26 stations. Trains are expected to run at speeds between 120 and 200 kms per hour, a staffer in charge of the project said. It is to be noted that Linzhi, which is also known as Nyingchi, is located close to Arunachal border. Earlier, China laid claims saying Arunachal is part of southern Tibet while India contests it. The total cost of the entire Sichuan-Tibet railway project is around 319.8 billion yuan (USD 47.8 billion).