Five years's construction of Qinghai-Tibet Railway and one year's operation answer and remove misgivings in the term of eco-environmental protection on the plateau.
The railway adopted bridge-instead-of-embankment measures to protect the ecological environment, permafrost and wetlands on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A 13-km-long bridge was constructed specially only in the territory of the TAR to better protect the local ecological environment. Practice has proven that the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has gone through the test of both a warm and cold season. Through the railroad surface heat preservation technology, the survey distortion of most of roadbed is within a small range, the average sedimentation is about two centimeters, and variation coefficients have kept within a controllable range. The construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway did not exert adverse influence upon the ecological environment of the plateau.
Stations along the line use environment-friendly energy sources such as solar and wind energy for heating. Garbage is collected for batch treatment. Domestic sewage, after being treated to meet the State's discharge standard, is used, whenever possible, to water green spaces. Garbage on the sealed trains is collected in plastic bags handed over to stations along the plateau for batch treatment. To suit the characteristics of the plateau, the central station management mode is adopted, with seven central stations established along the line. Each of these stations is totally responsible for the trains' running and maintenance in an area within a radius of 80 km. Wherever possible, remote automatic control and mechanized maintenance are adopted to reduce the number of both the organizations and their staff on the plateau, thereby giving maximum protection to the natural eco-environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
At present, the departments of Qinghai-Tibet Railway are establishing a long-term environment monitoring mechanism and major environmental accident emergency system. They have tested the water system and ecological environment along the railway and observed the migration of wild animals and frozen earth environment, duly mastering the changes in the environment along the railway after its operation. They also adjusted and improved various measures on environmental protection, providing the scientific basis for the further protection of plateau ecology.
Today, passengers sitting in their carriages can enjoy the beautiful and rugged Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and have a taste of the bold and unrestrained, quiet nature through the broad train windows. Ascending to the "roof of the world", people also feast on the wonderful scenery of the snow-capped plateau. According to monitoring by the national environmental protection organs, the ecological environment on the plateau was not destroyed, the quality of headwaters of rivers not polluted, the migration of the wild animals not blocked, and the natural sightseeing not influenced in the course of Qinghai-Tibet Railway construction and operation.