At least 1,000 journalists from home and abroad have come to Qinghai and
Tibet to cover the event along the rail line.
People can witness the ceremony and the whole day's trip live on television,
radio and news websites.
The first train from Golmud to Lhasa will carry governmental officials and
reporters, not ordinary passengers.
But in the evening, passenger trains will run from three cities
Beijing, Chengdu of Sichuan Province and Xining of Qinghai Province to
Lhasa. The first train will leave Lhasa on Sunday morning.
The trains running on the "roof of the world" will be driven by engines made
by US-based General Electric (GE).
GE locomotives are chosen because of their great traction and brake powers,
low power cost and high reliability, said Zhu Zhensheng, vice-director of the
Ministry of Railways office in charge of the new line.
The GE locomotives have been used in Peruvian railways in the Andes at the
altitude of 4,700 metres, the highest railways in the world before the
Qinghai-Tibet Railway was completed.
Some 1,000 kilometres of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway's tracks are located at
4,000 metres above sea level.
The Tibet Autonomous Region's tourism administration estimated that an
additional 3,000 to 4,000 tourists would arrive in Tibet daily once the
Qinghai-Tibet Railway begins operation.
Local tourist destinations have taken measures to ensure precious cultural
relics don't suffer from the increased numbers.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa will restrict the number of daily visitors to
Liao Lisheng, an official with the Tibetan tourism administration, said that
960 out of the 1,800 tickets will be sold to travel agencies. Individual
visitors can try their luck. But since reservations cannot be made, it is better
to buy the tickets one day in advance.
The Potala Palace features the essence of ancient Tibetan architecture and
art, and houses countless artifacts. Both the Potala Palace and Norbu Linkag,
the summer palace of Dalai Lamas, are on the World Heritage List of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Namco Lake, another famous tourist spot in Tibet, will give every tourist an
eco-friendly bag to collect and remove rubbish. There will be no swimming,
fishing or boats allowed on the lake.
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