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Qinghai-Tibet Railway to Boost Tourism in Tibet
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China's Qinghai-Tibet railway will begin trial operation on July 1 this year, and it has attracted large numbers of travelers to go sightseeing in Tibet.

To date, train tickets for the six lines to Tibet, including from Beijing to Lhasa, have been booked up by travel agencies, according to railway sources.

The 1,142-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet railway, which runs across the frozen tundras of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from Golmud of Qinghai to Lhasa, is the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other parts of China.

With the trial operation of passenger trains, tourists will find it more convenient to travel to Tibet, since the railway is comparatively low-cost and safer than other transport means, said Ma Baocheng, deputy general manager of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company.

For travelers to have sufficient time to enjoy the natural beauty on the plateau, the passenger trains will depart in the morning and arrive in the evening.

Meanwhile, this world's highest and longest plateau railroad will have two oxygen supply systems on trains to combat the effects of altitude sickness on passengers.

Oxygen will come from a system like central air-conditioning on trains, which can ensure the oxygen content in carriages at about 85 percent of that in plain areas, said Ma, adding that oxygen masks will also be installed near seats for passengers to use in case they still feel sick.

About 800,000 more travelers will visit Tibet by way of Qinghai with the operation of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, said Zhang Fuhua, an official with the Qinghai tourism administration.

Qinghai is making efforts to speed up the tourism infrastructure construction to cope with the increase of tourists, Zhang said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 3, 2006)

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