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Guangzhou-Lhasa Train to Start Operation on October 2
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The new Guangzhou-Lhasa train service linking the south China metropolis with the capital city of southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region will go into commercial operation on Oct. 2, the second day of the holiday week celebrating National Day.


The 4,980-kilometer journey will take 57 hours and 21 minutes.


Sources with Guangzhou Railway Group said on Saturday that three trains fitted with state-of-the art equipment will be used for the new service.


Besides ventilation, water supply, electricity generation and central heating fittings, trains will carry oxygen supply and anti-frigidity equipment, the sources said.


The trains, departing every other day, will have 15 carriages including two soft sleeping berth carriages, seven hard sleeping berth carriages, four hard seaters and one dining carriage. Each train can transport 863 people.


Sichuan, Guangdong and Hunan style dishes, as well as western and Muslim-style dishes, will be available in the 40-seat dining carriage, which can stay open around the clock and be used to hold small parties.


A hard sleeping berth will cost 896 yuan (US$113) and a soft berth 1,434 yuan (US$182).


The 302 train stewards for the Guangzhou-Lhasa railway services have been taught about Tibetan customs and can speak a little Tibetan, Mongolian, Tu and Sala.


Tourism to Tibet has surged since the 1,956-km-long Qinghai-Tibet Raiway went into operation on July 1.


(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2006)


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