Approximately 450,000 travelers and 100,000 tons of freight had been transported up to September 18 on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, said Railway Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping in Beijing Monday.
The world's highest altitude rail track is playing an increasingly important role in the social and economic development of Qinghai Province and the Tibet Autonomous Region, said Wang. The volumes of coal, oil, metals, fertilizer and farm produce freighted had increased significantly, he added.
Wang said the majority of travelers were tourists with the main goods carried into Tibet being food, coal, consumer goods and building materials. He said services to Tibet from Shanghai and Guangzhou had been added for the upcoming National Day period. The railway link was operating in an efficient manner, Wang added.
The "altiplano" trains, which became operational on July 1, are equipped with oxygen and double-glazing covered with ultraviolet radiation film for passenger protection.
With winter drawing closer railway operations are being monitored closely, said Wang.
(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2006)