china has started on building a chengdu to lhasa railway line which will shorten the current circuitous railway journey from 48 hrs to much less when completed in 8 yrs.
photos , map and report herehttp://www.defence.pk/forums/chinese-de ... layed.html
this will open a direct route from the upper reaches of the yangzte river area to lhasa and obviously permit much easier mil mobilization from that direction too, not just from northern tibet side.
Trains will travel at a maximum speed of 200 km per hour and will take only eight hours to reach Lhasa,
Nice. But the train climbs to 15,000 feet, which means at least a week of acclimatization for any human.
some facts according tothis website regarding the only rail link to Tibet-
There are several trains from Xining to Lhasa. But most of them start from other cities of China and stop at Xining Train Station generally for 20 minutes. Only two trains, K9801 and K9811, start from Xining to Lhasa. The train K9801 from Xining to Lhasa departs every other day at 15:02 from Xining Train Station, and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 14:55 on the second day after over 24 hours covering a distance of 1960 kilometers, while the K9811 starts every other day from Xining at 22:00 and reaches Lhasa at 21:40 on the second day. The operational speed is also 120 km/h, 100 km/h over sections laid on permafrost. It costs around RMB800 for a first-class sleeper berth, about RMB500 for a second-class sleeper berth and half that for a soft seat.
Like each Lhasa-bound train, the train to Lhasa from Xining is also especially built for the high altitude environment and equipped with advanced facilities, such as air-conditioning, supercharging system, oxygen supply, altitude display, etc. The train is also tightly sealed so as to firstly keep the inside air pressure normal and secondly prevent passengers from littering. Besides, all the carriages are installed with double-paned windows and ultraviolet filters to protect passengers from ultraviolet radiation. Toady, Xining has become a hot station for tourists taking Tibet train to Lhasa. Some tourists may want to stay at Xining for a short period. But some might not be able to get train tickets directly to Lhasa from other cities of China so they have to transfer at Xining Train Station after flying to Xining.
2) what to wear-
You should realize that you will spend 2 nights in the train. The Qinghai-Tibet Train is considered as a 3-star facility train in China, but it is not a hotel, no disposable provided. You need to prepare your own slippers, towel, cup, teeth brush, teeth paste, soap, even tissue paper to the train. Another problem you have to think about is the food, although there is a restaurant car in the middle of the train which provides Chinese food. At least you need think about to buy some milk, bread, fruit, etc. for the train journey. Tibet train has heating and cooling, so you do not need to ware too much in the train.
3) About altitude sickness
It is said train to Tibet can help you adapting the high altitude slowly by the smoothly ascending elevation; of course it works but is not absolutely correct. Because when train going through Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, air pressure inside train is not as low as the outside as the cars are always close, in addition, the Oxygen is fulfilled the cars. Actually, the passengers live in a different environment from the actual plateau environment outside; it does not help you too much on acclimating. As our experience, the major purposes for travelers to go to Tibet by train are the cheap price and to experience the famous train itself. Therefore, you may consider taking train leaving Lhasa after your trip in peak travel season when the tickets booking of going into Lhasa trains are too busy.
2. What kind of diseases is dangerous for passengers who take train to Tibet?
According to the sanitarian department and doctors, the passengers can travel to the plateau only after, finishing their physical examination and approved by the doctors. Passengers are not suitably travel to the plateau area where above 3,000 meters when they have one of the following diseases: Each kind of nature heart disease, apparent heart heat abnormal or the heats are above 100 times per minute, the hypertension II, blood dissease and the brain vein disease.Chronicity respiratory system disease moderate above blocking lung disease including bronchia tube asthma, bronchiectasis, pulmonary emphysema, activity pulmonary tuberculosis, dust pulmonary tuberculosis etc.
edited- another website regarding altitude sickness- chinatibettrain
This is the official website
. Strange that it has the name of china and tibet in it when hans consider tibet part of china.
The Beijing-Lhasa train will run at a speed of 160 km per hour on the plain, but will slow down at 120 km per hour when it reaches the Qinghai-Tibet section.
The line includes the Tanggula Pass, at 5,072 m above sea level the world's highest rail track. More than 960 km, or over 80% of the railway, is at an altitude of more than 4,000 m. There are 675 bridges, totaling 159.88 km, and over half the length of the railway is laid on permafrost.
Acclimatization is the process of the body adjusting to the decreased availability of oxygen at high altitudes. It is a slow process, taking place over a period of days to weeks.
High altitude is defined as:
- High Altitude: 1500 - 3500 m (5000 - 11500 ft)
- Very High Altitude: 3500 - 5500 m (11500 - 18000 ft)
- Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m
Practically speaking, however, we generally don't worry much about elevations below about 2500 m (8000 ft) since altitude illness rarely occurs lower than this.
Of course Shiv has mentioned many times regarding the tibetan plateau and the above issues in his posts.
Except the hardy tibetans who have lived for centuries, others like hans have to be acclamatised.