Residents of Lhasa Go for Qinghai-Tibet Railway Tickets
   2006-07-01 06:05:02
Residents of Lhasa, capital of Tibet, are buying tickets for the first trains to some of China¡¯s major cities, as the railway between Lhasa to Xining, capital of Qinghai province, is open Saturday July 1st.

Once the Qinghai-Tibet railway is put into operation Saturday, five rail routes starting from Lhasa are set to open. By taking these trains, people from Lhasa can get to Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, lanzhou and Xi¡¯an directly.

Ticket sales for some of the routes have opened to the public.

In one of the two ticket stations in downtown Lhasa, people are queuing. A conductor surnamed Gao says even though the ticket selling window has just opened for two days, the business is very good.

¡°Tickets are sold three days ahead of the departure time. Currently two routes¡¯ tickets are available. One is from Lhasa to China¡¯s western city Lanzhou, the other one is from Lhasa to Xining. The latter one has been sold out for the next three days. And we¡¯ve got many people coming to ask about the ticket information.¡±

With the rail connection between Lhasa to Xining, Tibetans have easier access to china¡¯s big cities, as the railway will link Lhasa with other cities through Xining as an inter change station.

Gao Dexing has just bought a ticket to Lanzhou for travel on July 3rd.
As a business man traveling frequently from his hometown in eastern China¡¯s Shandong province to Lhasa, Gao Dexing says the train provides a good option.

¡°I used to take train from my hometown in Shandong to Xining, and then take a coach from Xining to Tibet. It takes a long time and sometimes the journey gets really rough when the weather turns bad or the road is broken. Now I can take the train, and only need to change the train once. It¡¯s much more convenient, and much more comfortable.¡±

The ticket Gao Dexing bought is around 500 Yuan or about 40 US dollars, about one fifth of the price for a flight of the same journey. Each passenger is also given a notice card about train facilities and tips on plateau travel.

In the coming a few days, tickets from Lhasa to Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu will also be available for Tibetans.

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