Nepal to Tibet Train

Traveling from Nepal to Tibet has been very easy nowadays, with daily flights departing from Kathmandu to Lhasa. You can also take an overland road trip journey. However, the train option from Nepal to Tibet is still not accessible. The railway to link China and Nepal is now in the process of construction, with the joint effort of both countries.

China to Nepal Railway is comprised of the section in Tibet, China and the section in Nepal. It will start from Shigatse, Tibet, and get extended to Gyirong, Tibet, which is the border town between China and Nepal. Once the China section is finished, the next phase will be the Nepal section, which is from Gyirong to Kathmandu. Then travel between China and Nepal by train will be possible. The length of the railway from Shigatse to Gyirong is 540 kilometers long and hopefully will be completed in 2020. As indicated by Chinese media, the blueprint of China Nepal Railway is to further connect Kathmandu and the Nepali tourist city of Pokhara and the Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini City.

Lhasa to Shigatse Train
Lhasa to Shigatse Train

The biggest construction challenge of China Nepal Railway lies in that it has to cross through the Himalayas, where the average altitude is over 6,000 meters, and perennial glaciers and accumulated snows cover the peaks of the mountains all year round. The surrounding areas of the construction sites on the plateau are extremely oxygen-deficient. To construct this railway, it demands large sums of money and superb construction techniques to build a tunnel crossing underneath the Himalayas. China Nepal Railway is believed as an even more difficult project than Qinghai Tibet Highway.

Sleeper Compartment on the train
Sleeper Compartment on the train

It seems an impossible task to build a railway in Tibetan plateau, especially in the Himalaya region. But the Chinese engineers have never stopped exploring the possibilities, despite the doubts and numerous difficulties. They’ve made a peculiar shield machine especially for this project, whose excavating diameter can be 15 meters, hugely reducing the difficulty of tunnel excavation.

It’s said that the max speed of the train to run through China Nepal Railway will be 120km/h, which is limited and set according to the special geographical landscape. When the construction of China Nepal Railway is completed, it will be the highest railway in the world, replacing the current No. 1, the Qinghai Tibet Highway. It is of great significance for both China and Nepal, which might help bring forth more essential opportunities for Nepal to increase the economic growth, and it will also promisingly benefit the trade and tourism between China and Nepal.

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