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11:05 Jan 28 2010

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China makes Qinghai-Tibet Railway environment-friendly
11:03, January 28, 2010  

File photo taken on June 17, 2006, shows a Tibetan woman and a girl from Damxung Nyemo County, Lhasa, watching a train passing by on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. (Xinhua Photo)

On a chilly winter evening, a train, which departed from Lhasa and ran on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, came to a stop at the Golmud Station in northwest China's Qinghai Province.

As soon as the train stopped, some workers of the station, who had waited there with seven mobile vacuum sewer flushing trucks, started to take the sewage and waste from the containers in each passenger car.

The vehicles left the spot after working for a quarter of an hour and the workers then transferred the waste to a designated site for disposal.

The 1,956-km Qinghai-Tibet Railway, also known as the sky way on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, started operation on July, 1, 2006. All the passenger trains leaving or entering Tibet are specially designed and equipped with an advanced compressional waste collection system and a sewage collection system.

Meanwhile, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company allocated 21 vacuum sewer flushing trucks as supporting equipment in the stations of Lhasa, Golmud and Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to help the trains dispose of the waste, thus making sure that trains running between the Golmud-Lhasa Section achieve the target of zero-emission of wastes.

By implementing the policies on environment protection and taking a series of measures to protect the environment, we plan to build the Qinghai-Tibet Railway into the best ecological and environment-friendly railway in China and in the world, said Li Li, a leading official of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company.

He added that there has not been a single case involving the damages of the ecological environment of the plateau done by the railway since it began operation three years ago.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the highest in the world in terms of altitude and the longest in terms of the length of going through the permanently frozen earth area.

Lying along the railway are three national nature reserves including the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve and the Sanjingyuan Nature Reserve, and large areas of natural wetland of diverse types.

The railway also runs through the five major rivers in China such as the Yangtze River, the Nujiang River and the Yarlung Zangbo River. The surrounding areas, though fragile in the ecological environment, play a major role in China's ecology.
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