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Feasibility Study for Sino Nepalese Railway Launched

Published Nov 24, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Recently, the feasibility study of the Sino-Nepalese railway from Shigatse to Geelong was officially launched. At present, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway extension line has been connected to Shigatse. The Shigatse to Geelong section is the last section of the China-Nepal railway in China.?

Jilong Town, Jilong County is located on the Chinese side of the Sino-Nepalese border. It is geographically located in the southern foothills of the Himalayas. It is less than 3,000 meters above sea level and has a mild and humid climate. Geelong Town has opened a trading port for Nepal, and in recent years has gradually become an important channel for land transportation of goods between China and the South Asian subcontinent.

Tibet officially announced on the 22nd that the feasibility study of the China-Nepal Railway (referred to as the Sino-Nepalese Railway) from Shigatse to Jilong was officially launched.??According to the official disclosure of Tibet Daily, from November 20 to 22, the China National Development and Reform Commission, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Railway Administration, China National Railway Group Co., Ltd., State Grid Co., Ltd., etc. Field research was conducted along the Shigatse to Geelong section.

On the evening of the 21st, Wu Yingjie, secretary of the Party Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in a meeting in Jilong County, Shigatse City that the feasibility study of the Sino-Nigerian railway from Shigatse to Geelong has far-reaching historical significance and great practical significance.??

He urged all levels and departments in Tibet to fully support the feasibility study of the China-Nepal Railway in China, and strive to start this early construction, early completion and early operation, and further promote Tibet’s integration into the “Belt and Road” initiative to promote Tibet in the new era. Long-term development and long-term stability, benefiting the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet.??

According to the report, the Sino-Nepal railway from Shigatse to Geelong, which is the start of the feasibility study, is in line with the new Tibet Railway in China’s Medium and Long-term Railway Network Plan. It is a planning research project during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

Together with the New Tibet Railway and the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, it constitutes a railway corridor between western and southwestern China, promoting the integration and development of Tibet and the interior, and laying a solid foundation for accelerating the construction of a three-dimensional interconnection network across the Himalayas.??

It is reported that the promotion of the Sino-Nepal railway planning and construction is of great significance for deepening the strategic partnership of China-Nepal friendly and prosperous generations, strengthening economic and trade exchanges between China and Nepal, deepening the construction of the “Belt and Road” and promoting Tibet’s economic and social development.??

Since 2017, China National Development and Reform Commission, National Railway Administration, China National Railways Group Co., Ltd. and related parties have actively promoted the preliminary research work of China-Nepal Railway, and carried out a number of special studies in engineering technology and geology.??

Difficult Geological Conditions

The geological conditions in this zone are challenging. “We have different surrounding rock conditions for each blasting. Even in just 20 meters, there will be three types of geological conditions where soft rock, hard rock and water-rich rock coexist.” China Railway 17th Bureau Lalin Railway Engineering Command Command Chang Wang Shucheng said that the construction personnel should reasonably adjust the blasting parameters and supporting parameters, especially in the early stage of the medium rock burst, to increase the initial thickness from the ordinary 30 cm to 35 cm.??

The Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway is a key project of the National 13th Five-Year Plan, with a total length of 435.48 kilometers and a design speed of 160 kilometers per hour. It is the first electrified railway in Tibet. The geological conditions of the project are complex, and the bridge to tunnel ratio is as high as 75%. It has entered a critical period of construction. It is expected to be completed and opened to traffic in 2021. It will be of great significance to promote economic development along the line, improve people’s livelihood, and promote inter-regional connectivity.??

According to the data of Tibet Railway Construction Co., Ltd., as of November 18, 119 bridges across the entire line have been completed, and 47 tunnels have been completed. The tunnel construction has accumulated 98.8% of the designed length. Since the start of construction in 2015, 76% of the total investment has been completed. Since October 2018, the Lalin Railway has been paved 106 kilometers.