Construction considered very difficult due to the climate and geological conditions
Two sections of the railway line connecting Sichuan province and the Tibet Autonomous Region will begin construction by the end of the month, the national rail operator said on Saturday.
Public tenders were recently completed on the sections connecting Ya’an and Xinduqiao in Sichuan, and Bomi and Nyingchi in Tibet. Seven bidders beat another 30 to secure work on the projects, the China State Railway Group said.
The Sichuan section will be 186 kilometers in length and the Tibet section 151 kilometers.
In November, President Xi Jinping said that work on the Sichuan-Tibet Railway was proving extremely difficult due to the complex geological and climatic conditions, as well as the sensitive environment in the regions.
To support the construction effort, the railway group has conducted research in areas such as the prevention and control of geological disasters, as well as the design and construction of tunnels and bridges.
The group said that preparatory work is underway for the construction of the line between Xinduqiao and Bomi, including the establishment of roads and power systems and the implementation of environmental protection measures. The section should be ready for construction to start in the fourth quarter of the year.
The 1,838 km Sichuan-Tibet Railway is divided into three parts.
The Chengdu-Ya’an section opened in December 2018. Construction of the Lhasa-Nyingchi section started in 2015 and the section is expected to open this year. For the third part between Ya’an and Nyingchithe the most difficult section amid railway construction projects, including work on tunnels and a bridge, began in November, ahead of the recent auction.
With an expected speed of 120 to 200 km / h, the Ya’an-Nyingchi section of 1,011 km crosses the Sichuan basin, the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau and the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, rising from an altitude of 600 meters to nearly 4500. meters.
The Ya’an-Xinduqiao and Bomi-Nyingchi sections are part of the middle section of the line.
When completed, the railway will be the second to connect Tibet to the rest of the country, after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in 2006.
Lu Chunfang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and general manager of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, echoed Xi’s remarks on the construction effort in a recent interview, saying it was the ” most difficult railway construction project in human history “because of the complicated geological conditions.
More than 90% of the line is made up of bridges or tunnels, he said.
The date of the planned completion of the railway has not yet been revealed.
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