Source: China Daily

08-19-2006 15:19

One of the features with trains on Qinghai-Tibet Railway is oxygen supply, to ensure that the oxygen concentration inside the carriage is up to 23-25%, and the passengers' demand for oxygen is satisfied, on the K917 train of Ge-La Section, the 26-year-old Jin Fenglong is in charge of oxygen supply to the whole train.

Jin Fenglong was answering repoters' questions about the train.[ photo]

Coming from Dalian and just 26 years old this year, Jin Fenglong is the engineer dispatched by Qingzang Train Oxygen Producer Plant to station on the train of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Though he is young, he has been working far away from hometown for a long time as a good hand able to undertake the task alone.

Jin has to be on duty for two days every time he works on the train, which departs from Golmud to Lasa in the morning, and arrives at Lasa in the same night, upon which he shall inspect the equipment inspection till around 2 a.m.. He returns to Golmud with the train, which departs on 8 a.m.. After one-day rest, he starts the next round of the same journey.

Oxygen supply equipment on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.[ photo]

"You absolutely don't have to worry about the oxygen supply system," he said, "Even if the equipment in one carriage is broken down, we still have emergency plan to ensure oxygen supply to the accident carriage by deploying the oxygen supply system of the whole train," he said. The oxygen supply system on Qinghai-Tibet Railway is an overall system, and the carriages were not separated from each other, in case of fault in partial areas, oxygen supply to the accident carriage could be realized via compressors on other carriages.

Jin said: "I am very busy and tense on my duty, because we cannot afford any error with the oxygen supply equipment when traveling on tableland, otherwise there will be inestimable influence on the passengers."

On the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, there are many other people like Jin, who work without attracting public attention, securing the train and protecting the passengers.

Trains traveling across the roof of the world, with extra oxygen pumped into the cabins to prevent passengers from suffering altitude sickness, will traverse a mountain pass sitting 5,072 meters above sea level as it rises up to the Tibetan plateau, and will drive through the Hoh Xil, China's largest area of uninhabited land.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway is 1,956 kilometers long, with 960 km of the track located 4,000 meters above the sea level and the highest point at 5,072 meters. It stretches from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa.

The section of 814 km from Xining to Golmud began operation in 1984 and the Golmud-Lhasa section started construction on June 29, 2001. Two trains set off at Golmud and Lhasa, the two start-up points of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway that is dubbed an "engineering marvel " that has linked Tibet with the rest of China for the first time.

The railway is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad and also the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with the rest of China.


By Zhang Nan (