China begins work on rail line up to Arunachal border


It will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet


  • China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line — its second major rail link to Tibet — that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi, which lies near the border with India’s Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The importance of the project, is two-fold. Like the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, which in 2006 connected Lhasa to the hinterland, this will be the second such route linking the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the hinterland. 
  • Secondly, it will run right up to Nyingchi near the border with India, which it will link to both Lhasa and Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan. 
  • The entire line will run from Chengdu to Lhasa, connecting the two capitals of TAR and Sichuan and cutting the journey from 48 hours to 13 hours.


Fast track

  • As the railway runs near China’s southwest border areas, it will largely improve the efficiency and convenience of military personnel and material transportation and logical supplies.
  • The first segment of the line within Sichuan province, from Chengdu to Yaan, was completed in December 2018. 
  • Work on the 1,011-km section from Yaan to Nyingchi, will be finished in 2030. 
  • The difficulty involved in the construction is rarely seen elsewhere, due to the complex geological and climatic conditions and fragile ecological environment along the railway.
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