New high-speed train line under construction will connect Chengdu in Sichuan, China, and Lhasa in Tibet.  — Express via Belmond/File

A new high-speed train line under construction, once completed, will connect Chengdu in Sichuan, China, and Lhasa in Tibet in only 13 hours.

It will cut down 48 hours of travel time into just 13 hours, covering a distance of around 1,012 miles, Express reported.

The Sichuan-Tibet Railway began back in 2014, and currently two sections of the line—from Chengdu-Ya’an to Nyingchi-Lhasa—are operational. The former opened in 2018, with the latter following three years later.

The third section, linking Ya’an to Nyingchi, began construction in November 2020 and is expected to continue until the early 2030s.

The train will travel at a faster speed than a normal rail, but not as fast as high-speed rail services, such as the one that links Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. 

This will be the first higher-speed rail system on the plateau and the first electrified railway in the area.

This railway will be the second line into the Tibetan area; the first was Qinghai-Tibet, which opened in 1984 and 2006 and was a difficult network to build. 

Although the prior network was thought to be adequate to serve the 3.5 million residents, which is relatively tiny when compared to China’s 1.4 billion, there was a greater need for transportation to reach Tibet’s abundant resources. 

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