BEIJING: 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, the official media reported.
China Railway announced on Saturday the bidding results for 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, indicating that construction of the project is about to begin.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway is the second such project in Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. It will go through the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, one of the world’s most geologically active areas, said a report by the state-run China News.
The Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from
, the capital of Sichuan province, and will shorten the journey to
from 48 hours to 13 hours.
Linzhi is located close to Arunachal Pradesh border. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
The newly-built Ya’an-Linzhi section runs 1,011 km. Trains are expected to run at speeds between 120 and 200 km per hour. The total cost of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway project is around 319.8 billion yuan ($47.8 billion), Global Times reported.
Observers said the new railway line will put Tibet on a “fast track” to catch up with other more developed regions of China.