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Times, Fares Announced for Tibet Rail Service
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The much-anticipated fares and schedules for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway were unveiled yesterday the service begins on July 1 and it will take 48 hours and a minimum of 389 yuan (US$49) by hard seat to get to Lhasa from Beijing.

A hard sleeper (bottom berth) will cost 813 yuan (US$102), and a soft sleeper (bottom berth) 1,262 yuan (US$158). The most expensive ticket is priced at about half the fare of an air ticket, 2,540 yuan (US$318).

Trains will run between Lhasa and cities in three directions Beijing, Chengdu/Chongqing and Xining/Lanzhou, the Ministry of Railway said yesterday, announcing the operational details for the initial stages.

The train from Beijing to Lhasa, T27, will leave Beijing's Western Railway Station at 9:30 PM, and arrive in Lhasa at 8:58 PM on the third day, taking 47 hours and 28 minutes.

The train from Lhasa to Beijing, T28, will leave at 8 am and arrive at 8 am of the third day, taking exactly 48 hours.

The ministry did not say whether trains would run daily.

The trains will stop at six stations: Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, Lanzhou in Gansu Province, Xining and Golmud in Qinghai Province and Nagqu in Tibet Autonomous Region.

Passengers can get on the train at any of the six cities along the 4,064-kilometer rail line of which 1,110 kilometers is new track, mostly at least 4,000 meters above sea level.

Trains will also link Lhasa to Chongqing and Chengdu in southwest China; and Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province; and Xining in Qinghai Province in northwest China.

(China Daily June 27, 2006)

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