China's vast and fast-growing high-speed rail network will extend into the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as a route linking Xinjiang with inland is scheduled to start running through Qinghai Province next month, the railway construction company said on Sunday.
The train will run at a speed from 200 km/h to 250 km/h on the plateau, reducing the travel time between Qinghai capital Xining and Gansu capital Lanzhou to one hour. After the operation starts, it will only take seven hours for a train to run from Xining to Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The high-speed rail will pass a mountain tunnel at an altitude of 4,200 meters, said Chao Yang, chief engineer of the division that builds the rail in Qinghai.
The railway will also go through a vast area of Gobi desert and hundreds of kilometers where gales frequently blow.
"It marks China has mastered technologies of making and operating high-speed trains in areas of high-altitude and extreme low temperature," Chao said.
The high-speed rail is expected to spur the growth of tourism, mining and trade on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.