China has issued a series of souvenirs to mark the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's longest plateau railroad.
The series, including a stamp album, a gemmy gold plate, a watch, a paperweight, an engine model of the inaugural trains and a silver medal, are issued by the National Museum of China, the China National Philatelic Corp. and the All-China Philatelic Federation.
The souvenirs combine both Han and Tibetan ethnic cultural elements, designers say.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, opened on Saturday, stretches 1,956 kilometers from Qinghai's provincial capital of Xining to Lhasa. The section of 814 km from Xining to Golmud began operation in 1984 and the Golmud-Lhasa section started construction on June 29, 2001.
The project is dubbed an "engineering marvel" because people used to think the perennial ice and slush along the route could never support tracks and trains. The railway is projected to help double tourism revenues by 2010 and reduce transport costs for goods by 75 percent in Tibet, Chinese officials said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2006)