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World's Highest Railway Station Enters Key Construction Period
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Construction has entered the key phase on the Tanggula Station, which at 5,068 meters above the sea level is the highest in the world, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Project Headquarters said in Amdo, Tibet on Wednesday.

Twenty-nine reinforced concrete pillars are being erected in holes dug in frozen earth to support the station, said Zhang Lianyou, chief engineer of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Project Headquarters under the Railways No.19 Bureau Group.

The station, on the southern face of the Tanggula Mountain range in southwest Tibet, is part of the Qinghai-Tibet railway and is due to be completed by August.

It is expected to become a tourist attraction and will have three lines for both passenger and freight purposes, and when finished, the station will have a floor space of about 384.2 square meters, Zhang said.

The station will operate as a railway junction control center since it's located in the middle of the highest section of the railway in the Tanggula Range, 4,916 meters above sea level, Zhang said.

The 1,142-km railway will run from Gelmud in Qinghai Province to Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, becoming the longest railway at the highest elevation in the world.

The central government decided to build the railway in 2001, allocating 26.2 billion yuan (US$ 3.1 billion) for the project. The line is scheduled to reach Lhasa this year and start trial operation in the second half of 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2005)

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