ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

March 2008

Qinghai-Tibet Railway Sets Records

By Susan Harp, Esri Writer

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A GIS-based route information and query page for the trains.
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A virtual 3D view of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway route and landscape.

When the section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway between Golmud in Qinghai Province and Lhasa in Tibet Province opened in July 2006, several worldwide engineering records were set:

To safeguard passengers from altitude sickness, passenger cars have enriched oxygen piped in and have supplemental emergency oxygen systems; even so, passengers must sign a health registration agreement before boarding the train. Even the train's diesel motor locomotives are specifically designed to operate at high altitudes. One year after the official Qinghai-Tibet Railway opening, the railway has carried about 11 million tons of freight and 2.02 million passengers—mostly college students, tourists, and business people—with very few incidents.

About Esri China (Beijing) Limited

Esri China (Beijing) Limited is the authorized exclusive distributor for software from Esri—the world leader in geographic information systems—on the mainland of the People's Republic of China. For more information, visit

About State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University

The State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety relies on state-level key disciplines, including Transportation Planning and Management, Traffic Information and Control, Communication and Information Systems, and Systems Science, which are top-ranking agencies in China. It integrates several key laboratories from provincial and ministerial levels.

Visit the Web site at

See also "Enterprise GIS Helps Safeguard the Qinghai-Tibet Railway."

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