Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Tue 21, Aug 2018 03:41 AM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
Is Tibet better off?
Dalai Lama urges ‘Five-fifty forum’ participants to preserve Buddhist knowledge
GCMGC North America - Europe to be held from Aug. 31 - Sept. 2
Dalai Lama expresses condolences, offers donation for relief efforts for Kerala floods
Two Tibetans released from prison, both served sentence for “inciting separatism”
Don’t just criticize but give solutions, Prez Sangay at CTA’s five-fifty Youth Forum
China installs portable barracks, oxygen chambers for troops on Tibetan plateau to develop combat readiness
Tibetan family deemed “separatist sympathizers”, denied govt. subsidy over Dalai Lama photo in Lithang
Eight Tibetan refugees earlier held in Nepal reach Dharamshala
Dalai Lama inaugurates hostel, urges students to work hard
 Latest Photo News
His Holiness the Dalai Lama talking to media persons on his arrival at Vilnius, Lithuania. June 12, 2018, Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
His Holiness the Dalai Lama attending the 100,000 prayer offering to Guru Padmasambhava at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2018. OHHDL Photo
Players and staff of the Tibetan national football team listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a special audience. The team will participate in the CONIFA world cup in London, May 18, 2018 Photo:OHHDL
more photos »
Advertisement
Could the Tibetan 'miracle' go up in smoke?
Globe & Mail[Monday, July 03, 2006 13:17]
By Geoffrey York

July 3: After conquering mountain peaks and permafrost, the builders of the world's highest railway are facing a new threat: cigarette smokers.

On the inaugural 48-hour voyage of the Beijing-Tibet train yesterday, Chinese officials were gearing up for the danger of banned cigarettes in the Canadian-built railway cars, where oxygen will be pumped into the sealed cars as they reach high altitudes today.

Officials refused to say what kind of combustion could occur if someone lights a cigarette once the cars are oxygenated -- a definite risk in a country where two-thirds of men are addicted to smoking. But they urged passengers to blow the whistle on any clandestine smokers.

Not that the trains are lacking in police and security officials. Of the 870 passengers on the first two-day journey from Beijing to Lhasa, about 300 are working staff, including a number of uniformed police, and one of their tasks is to enforce the smoking ban.

"Our working staff will have to ensure that everyone abides by the rules," said Zhu Zhensheng, deputy director of the railway project.

He spoke to reporters yesterday in the dining car of the train as it rumbled toward Tibet at speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour.

The train will climb above 5,000 metres and traverse hundreds of kilometres of permafrost in the first railway line ever to reach Tibet.

The rail cars, built by a consortium led by Bombardier, are sleek ultramodern vehicles with all of the latest technology to protect passengers from altitude sickness and ultraviolet rays.

The project, however, has provoked protests around the world, including at the annual meetings of Nortel and Bombardier in Canada. Nortel is providing the communications technology on the trains.

On Friday, three protesters -- including a Canadian woman, Omi Hodwitz -- were arrested at a Beijing railway station when they unfurled a banner against the railway. They were released after three hours in custody.

The protesters say that the railway will jeopardize Tibet's culture and environment, allowing China to flood the region with thousands of migrant workers of the majority Han ethnic group.

The train that departed from Beijing on Saturday night was the first to bring passengers on the entire route from Beijing to Lhasa. But earlier on Saturday, two trains headed to Lhasa from the northwestern Chinese city of Golmud, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"The project is not only a magnificent feat in China's history of railway construction, it is also a great miracle for the world," Mr. Hu told the ceremony, which coincided with the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

Zhang Jianwei, president of Bombardier's operations in China, said the first trains seemed to be running smoothly. "It's going very well, there are no problems," he said in an interview. "We're very proud of our technology. This project was unique in the world, and it was really challenging to us."

He was unwilling to comment on the protests. "Different people have different opinions about it. We feel that we're making a contribution to this region and to the whole of China."

One of the passengers on the first train was a Canadian tourist, Michael Hoyt, who managed to get last-minute tickets from a friend. He said he was impressed by the train. "The cars are really beautiful," he said yesterday after his first night on the two-day journey. "It's a very smooth and quiet ride, compared to a lot of trains I've been on. The service has been really good. They come around and bring us hot water and food."

Mr. Hoyt, who is teaching English at a university in Jilin province, said he disagreed with the protesters. "I don't think Tibet will lose from this. I think it will open a lot of doors. I don't care about people protesting to protect old cultures."

As he spoke, he puffed away on a cigarette. But he said he was planning to switch to nicotine gum when the train reached high altitude.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
Pure O2 in a confined space.. (khampaknife)
Pure O2 in a confined space... (khampaknife)
Your Comments

 Other Stories
40 Tibetans arrested outside the Chinese consulate in Mumbai
And we unfurled the banner and spoiled PRC's party...
Could the Tibetan 'miracle' go up in smoke?
Will India-China border talks ever end?
India fears China will use reopened route to spy
Tibetan filmmakers announce new feature film
Tibetan nun release "Inner Peace" album of spiritual mantras
Dalai-Lama has not been invited to summit not to endanger dialogue with Chinese leaders
Bikers rev up where old Tibet and new China collide
Finding New Hope By Taking Buddhist Path
Tibetan dissident to accuse Chinese of torture and genocide
Leading exile Tibetan activists on UK visit
Toronto Tibetans Say No! to Railway in Tibet
Edinburgh Students Protest Chinese Railway in Tibet
Reject the Railway Demonstration in Chicago
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement