Chinese railway workers have started a 100-day-long large-scale check and maintenance of the Golmud-Lhasa section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway on Wednesday in preparation for its test run on July 1.
The railway's operator, the Qinghai-Tibet Railways Company, made the decision to carry out the final preparations after a cargo train's trial operation result on the section on March 1, said sources with the Chinese Ministry of Railways.
The company hopes to ensure trains can run on sections built on the frozen belt at a stable speed of 100 km per hour. Trains running on the non-frozen belt should travel at a speed of 120 km per hour, and trains running on other sections built on zigzag lands should move at a slower speed of 80 km per hour.
The ministry said the company has pooled a number of skilled railways workers and engineers for the final campaign.
China announced the completion of the Golmud-Lhasa section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway at the end of last year, and plans to launch trial operations in July this year.
Built on the "Roof of the World " and zigzagging across 5,000-meter-high mountain ranges and a 550-km-long frozen belt, the 1,956-km-long Qing-Tibet railway in China has rewritten the history of railway construction.
After test runs in July 2006, the new railway will link Lhasa with other major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Chengdu and Guangzhou, according to the railways ministry sources.
It will also carry 75 percent of all the inbound cargo into Tibet, cutting transport costs and boosting local economy.