The Qinghai-Tibet railway, or Qingzang Railway, is a railway which connects Xining, Qinghai Province, to
The line includes the Tanggula Mountain Pass, which at 5,072 meters (16,640 feet) above sea level is the world's highest rail track. This title was formerly held by a mine spur of the Ferrocarril Central Andeo (Central Andes Railroad, originally the Central Railway of Peru) in the Andes near Ticlio, Peru, at 4,830 m (15,848 feet). The line will also include the 3,345-metre Yangbajing No. 1 tunnel, which is 4,264 metres above sea level and located 80 kilometres NW of the regional capital,
The 815 km section from Xining, Qinghai to Golmud, Qinghai opened to traffic in 1984. Construction of the remaining 1,080 km (670 mile) section from Golmud to
Rail-laying in Xizang was launched from both directions, towards Tanggula Mountain and
Thirty railway stations are to be built, among them Tanggula Mountain railway station, which at 5,068 m will be the world's highest (Cndor station, at 4,786 m, on the Rio Mulatos-Potos line, Bolivia, and La Galera at 4,781 m in Peru being the next highest).
Bombardier Transportation is to provide 361 high-altitude passenger carriages with special enriched-oxygen and UV-protection systems, to be delivered between December 2005 and May 2006. Of these, 53 will be luxury sleeper carriages for tourist service. When signalling and track testing is complete, trains travelling in the frozen earth areas are expected to attain maximum speeds of 100 kilometres per hour. On the non-frozen earth areas, speeds are expected to reach 120 kilometres per hour.
The construction of the railway is part of the China Western Development strategy, an attempt to develop the western provinces of China, which are much less developed than eastern China. When the line is opened, it will be possible to travel from