At the height of 16,627 feet above sea level, the Tanggula railway station of the Qinghai-Tibet railway line of the Chinese Railways is the highest railway station in the world. It surpasses the Ticlio station in Peru whose height is 15,843 feet above sea level. Other tall railway stations with a height close to Tanggula are the Condor station in Bolivia on the Rio Mulatos-Potosí line and the La Galera station Peru with heights of 15,702 and 15,686 feet above sea level respectively. The railway station (which is not staffed )was officially opened for service on July 1st, 2006 and is located more than half a mile from the highest point of the rail track which has a height of about 16,640 feet. The platform of the Tanggula Railway Station was chosen for the scenic sights from its platform, which is about 4,100 feet long and stretches over an area of 19.02 acres.
Overview Of The Tanggula Mountain Railway Station
The Tanggula Mountain Railway Station has three tracks, one of which is served by a platform while the other two are served by relatively short sub-platforms. The Tanggula Railway Station is a comprehensive railway station for both freight and passenger transport. Tanggula is the highest intermediate station along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Tanggula Mountain Railway Station has a waiting room which is equipped with large devices that generate oxygen to prevent its passengers from getting altitude sickness. The region around the station is uninhabited thus there are no passenger transport services available other than the train. A train passing through to Tibet can stop at the Tanggula Station to wait for another train which is coming from the other direction to pass. However, passengers on board the train are not allowed to exit the Tibet train at that point.
Sightseeing along the Tanggula Railway Station
There are 45 railway stations along the Qinghai-Tibet route which offer passengers picturesque sceneries, nine of which have sightseeing platforms. Among the exquisite sights along the Qinghai-Tibet line include the Tuotuo River, the Kunlun, and Tanggula mountain ranges, Potala Palace, Lake Qinghai and the Bird Island, the Yangtze River, Yangpachen, and Kekexili. Other sites include forests, grasslands, rare wild animals such as the Tibetan antelope, prayer flags, folk houses, and lakes and rivers.
Significant Features Along The Qinghai-Tibet Line
With a width of more than 93 miles, the Tanggula Mountains' main peak is the Geladandong and the headstream of the Tuotuo River. Geladandong is an ancient point that always serves as a major tourist attraction. The other significant feature along the line is the Tanggula Mountain Pass with a height of approximately 17,262 feet above sea level. Tanggula Mountain Pass is the highest point on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and also serves as a natural border between Qinghai and Tibet. Since the mountain peak has numerous crisscrossed glaciers the snow on Tanggula Mountain does not melt throughout the year.
Schedules Of The Trains
The railway line which goes from Xining all the way to Lhasa in Tibet, not only connects Lhasa to Xining but also to the entire China railway network. At present, passengers can board the train from numerous large cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Lanzhou, and Chengdu. Most of the trains are available on a daily basis and the tickets can either be purchased at any railway station found in Mainland China, via phone, online or through a reliable booking agency.