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First Locomotive Runs on Qinghai-Tibet Railway

Although the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is still under construction, the first locomotive to arrive in Tibet since 1928 started running on the “roof of the world” Tuesday.

It set off at the Amdo County section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and will be used to transport construction materials for the massive railway project, said Li Yang, a senior engineer with the China Railway Construction Corporation.


Weighing 86 tons, the locomotive was first dismantled and then reassembled in Amdo County after being transported into Tibet in four trucks, Li said.


The railway construction site in Amdo County, at an elevation of about 4,704 meters, is one of the highest sections on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.


Tibet imported its first two railway cars from India in 1928 for the Dalai Lama. They were dismantled and then carried into Tibet by mule.


The 1,956-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet Railway, when complete, will originate in Xining, capital of northwest China’s Qinghai Province, and end at Lhasa, capital of Tibet.


Construction of the railway began on June 29, 2001, and the entire project is scheduled for completion in six years.


(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2004)


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