China is expected to open next year the Chengdu – Ya’an rail section, as part of Sichuan-Tibet railway, one of the most challenging railway project in the world. Within the project, China launched the construction on the two ends of the railway. The feasibility study on the section between Ya’an and Kangding has been completed, and the section between Lhasa and Nyingchi is under construction. The section from Kangding to Nyingchi is still under design phase, as it is the most difficult and the longest section. Its construction is expected to begin in 2019 and could take about 7 years, according to the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd.
China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group that designs the line says that the line will run from Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, through Ya’an and Kangding, and enter Tibet via Qamdo. It will then go through Nyingchi and Shannan municipalities before arriving at Lhasa, capital of Tibet. The total construction length will be about 1,700 km and it will cost 250 billion yuan (USD 36.88 billion).
The line will go through the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, one of the world’s most geologically active areas and is also calld as “the Roof of the World”.
“The construction and operation of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway must overcome the biggest risks in the world,” said You Yong, chief engineer of the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), who is leading a scientific and technological support team to avoid disasters in the mountains.