SoftDawn | Train Across Tibet | Lanzhou | Plateau 1 | Plateau 2 | Plateau 3 | Lhasa

Tentative Observations About Possible Impacts From The Train Across The Tibetan Plateau

Environmental Impact of the Railway

It would seem unlikely that the train will have a detrimental impact on the environment any more than other trains running through a wilderness area. The track is a narrow ribbon traversing a broad space and having regular openings isn't a barrier to animal life, vegetaion or the elements. Substantial efforts have been made with the construction of the rail, and the trains, to minimise environmental impact.

Effect of Global Warming

The author is of the view that global warming and climate change, due to increasing industrialisation of society and the build-up of green house gases in the atmosphere is happening. To the extent that there is a rise in mean temperatures it could be expected there would be an impact on this fragile region which for most of the year is below zero temperature.

Impact on the Tibetan Way of Life

By bringing more Chinese people and goods to Tibet, the railway will obviously have an impact on Tibetan culture and the way of life. This will almost certainly be the case in Lhasa - the destination of the train and Tibet's major city. It may not be so true, however, away from Lhasa.

In Lhasa the presence of Chinese is already considerable. It is difficult to obtain accurate population figures and it is said Tibetans living in Lhasa believe Chinese make up more than 50% of the city's population. From observations during my short visit this is believable.

Reportage of the day-long train journey across the Tibetan Plateau has been broken into 3 pages to make it more digestible. You can reach Plateau 1, Plateau 2 and Plateau 3 by clicking on these links, or on the tags at the top, or bottom, of this page.

SoftDawn | Train Across Tibet | Lanzhou | Plateau 1 | Plateau 2 | Plateau 3 | Lhasa