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Trans-Tibetan Train

Nov, 03 || No Comments |

For a long time, if China stopped surprising us. Seems to be no test or that sins committed and ambitious millennial Chinese people not to go to completion.
Beyond the Chinese jokes or the latest estimates of grandeur and almost unlimited power of Beijing, the new leader has managed to build the most impressive and most difficult railway in the world. Travelling harsh and hostile Tibetan plateau, ultra-modern railway line linking Beijing now legendary Lhasa seal once iron grip on Tibet of China.

Tibet – wild, mystical, mysterious Tibet and martyr …

Tibet remains a place of extremes, a place of political controversy, religious and ideological, a place of sages and religious doctrines raised to the rank of official policy, a place of massacres and torture, a place where westerners come and fill Confused emptiness and futility of souls with a religion and a culture that can not assimilate, but that hope is salvation inherently ridiculous consumerism and Western spiritual decadence. For the eyes of his first walks the earth barren, cold and rocky, Tibet is a place rather intense, but nice.
Deep and sharp blue sky, white clouds scattered, endless meadows and rolling, dotted with silhouettes of yacilor Mito, deserts and snow covered rocks long forgotten.

It is also a land where terribly harsh and powerful religious experience has not been quite the demon red Chinese atheism. Huge Gompa, Buddhist temples, monasteries Rite Vajrayana, which resisted damage from the “Cultural Revolution” and Chinese anger against a foreign land, are still populated by thousands of monks, being guarded by huge dogs of Tibetan shepherds. In recent decades, the Chinese government has supported a massive ethnic Han Chinese penetration to weaken this item consistency Tibetan ethnic origin.Recently, Tibet and he was caught in the roller of globalization.

At the time I write these lines, Land of the Gods is modernizing and growing at a fast pace and is dotted by malls and trekker from all over the world parading their bodies dressed in expensive equipment absent from Gore-Tex.
Along its millenary history, Tibet was an eminently religious state that coexisted with China in various forms of autonomy and control. Since 1950, it was invaded and annexed by Communist China arbitrary and since 1965 is officially administered by Beijing under the name of Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

In fact, historical Tibet is not restricted by borders Xinjiang’s place today. Loyal Divide et impera principle, the Communists broke pieces of historical Tibet, Chinese privinciile including them in Gansu, Qinhai, Sichuan and Yunnan – so, as a preventive measure against a hypothetical reunification of the Kingdom of Snow, as it was called by the ancients.

In short, today Tibet is sparsely populated region, about six times larger than Romania. It has an average elevation of 4900 meters, the lake hosts the highest elevation in the world (Manasarovar) and is bordered to the south of the Himalayas, Karakorum desert west of the east Tangkula Mountains and north of the Kunlun Mountains and Nan Shan, Takla Makan and the desert. Same Tibet is where stem some of the world’s great rivers, recalling here Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra and Yangtze.

Today, nearly 2 million ethnic Tibetan in Tibet live. 4,000,000 populate other adjacent provinces. Non-Tibetan population of the huge mountain plateau consists of Chinese permanent residents, another floating population of Chinese who come here to work, the latter being Chinese in Sichuan and ethnic Hui Muslims. But the rest of the population of Tibet is composed of Chinese soldiers and paramilitary troops, ready to suppress any form of rebellion. By any means …

However, given that Tibet has always been one of the most backward and poorest provinces in China with a very high rate of illiteracy, the Chinese authorities have made considerable efforts in recent years to improve living standards here, encouraging and the Tibetan to engage in tourism.

Despite this apparently positive, many ethnic Tibetan rământ suspicious of Chinese intentions, and wanted them to leave as quickly and leave Tibet inhabitants of law.

Tibetans remained critical especially Beijing’s efforts to suppress Tibetan language and culture, to the treatment being put current Dalai Lama and especially to mass penetration of ethnic Han.

Foreign visitors, namely Western, need a special permit and its validity changes according to the current political situation in Tibet. In recent years, the Beijing government encouraged visiting Tibet. Were recently spent about $ 30 million to modernize and expand Gongkar Airport in Lhasa, the largest in Tibet, monasteries were refurbished, and the icing on the cake is a modern train crossing the stormy Tibet and was recently given the use .

Tibet train cut

According prestigious and verifiability Guinness Book of Records, the new Tibetan railway already has two world records, which apparently can not be shot down again. The first concerns the 13 km section of Khaleb and Xinji-fu, situated at a height of 6096 meters, while the second aims to train station T’e-li-mo in southern Tibet railway station built at an altitude of 6035 meters.
Titan railway Qinghai-Xijang, as set out in Chinese, or Mtsho Bod Lcags Lam, as the Tibetans call it, connect with Golmund capital Lhasa, a city in the province of Qinghai. It was opened in July of 2006, displacing, on this occasion, the railway between Lima and Huancayo in Peru, reaching “only” 4800 meters, 5072 meters high compared to the average of Qinghai-Xinjiang railway.

Shortens the distance between Golmund world and Lhasa. If, before the inauguration, the distance was covered in three days, now, through highly train can be traveled in about 15 hours.
High-altitude railway line has a total length of 1,142 km. The train crosses is specifically designed for harsh conditions of the Tibetan plateau. Diesel locomotives were manufactured by GE in Pennsylvania, and passenger carriages are Chinese production, type 25T.
Due to the high altitude and low temperatures are specially designed wagons, and cabins are pressurized plane, windows made of a material that protects passengers by strong UV rays. Each place in the compartment is equipped with oxygen mask. Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, called him with undisguised pride: “A project unprecedented in human history.”
Line construction began in 2001, after earlier finishing and securing portions of the permafrost tunnel over which speed train would pass.

Today, the train passes over 675 bridges crossing Fenghuoshan tunnel, located at 4905 meters altitude, 550 km of rails and special rails are built directly on permafrost.

As an interesting note, the entire distance from Golmund to Lhasa is surrounded by 45 stations, of these, 38 were not manned, monitored only by the control center in Xining. Chinese year longer intends to inaugurate another 13 stations currently in progress.
One who had this idea of ??proportions was very father of communist China, Mao Zedong famous historical figure who ordered feasibility studies since 1955. Only that plans were abandoned for lack of money and trained engineers.
According to Chinese authorities, the railway is mainly used to transport tourists and excavated mineral resources in Tibet. New rail supporters say it will help the local economy inauguration by the fact that the import and export of products of first necessity will be boosted and thus lead to lower prices.

What is uncertain is the iron road will help the Chinese government to exploit the rich natural deposits of copper and iron in Tibet.
In fact, as an aside enlightening, the first passengers of the train were gold and mineral prospectors and oilman.
Critics, on the other hand, believes that will help train more than the ethnic Tibetan Chinese companies. They also argue that so many Chinese come to Tibet.

The biggest problem is serious hit every local companies trucks carrying goods in Tibet and garages, repair shops, hotels and markets serving truck drivers. In addition, another alarm was pulled by environmentalists, who fear the impact on the environment railway and an increased influx of poachers, who so handy an efficient means of transport.

Is particularly interesting in this context, the opinion of a Tibetan student:
– “The railway will give new mortal blow our culture. I have no doubt. But we can not remain înapoiaţii China. This change came anyway, sooner or later.’s Up to us to preserve our identity, whatever build or not in the future. ”
Train and railway line was inaugurated in a lavish ceremony in style megalomania celebrations of Chinese origin. The ceremony was broadcast by several TV and Hu Jintao, the Chinese president in office, cut a giant red ribbon to Golmund. Thousands of dancers and musicians dressed in traditional Tibetan and Chinese costumes singing and dancing at the height of dawn, when the locomotive on the train, slowly pulling 16 cars.
But few Tibetan traveling by train. For them, the ticket is still too expensive.

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