China begins extension of Tibet railway

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the world`s highest railway.

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2010, 13:11 PM IST

Beijing: China has begun work on an extension to the world`s highest rail link which will connect the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to the region`s second largest city Xigaze.

The new section from Lhasa to Xigaze is the first extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in July 2006, China Daily reported on Monday.

The work for the 253-km railway line which started on Sunday will take four years, with a budget of CNY 13.3 billion (USD 1.98 billion), an official said.

"It will play a vital role in boosting tourism in the southwestern part of Tibet and promoting the rational use of resources along the line," the newspaper quoted Liu Zhijun, minister of railways, as saying.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the world`s highest railway. Some 960 km of its tracks are located 4,000 metres above sea level.

A spokesman with the Ministry of Railways said there are plans to build another line from Lhasa to Nyingchi in the southeastern part of Tibet.

IANS