The Qinghai-Tibet Railway boasts more than 450 bridges as it crosses three major mountain chains and five rivers. The railway reaches a maximum elevation of 5,072 meters above sea level. Photograph is by Zhenming Wang.China made history on July 1, 2006, when the Qinghai-Tibet Railway opened for passenger service. The railway is the highest-elevation passenger train in the world and the first to connect central China with Tibet, providing a controversial but arguably economically significant link between Tibet and the rest of China. Stretching about 1,142 kilometers, the railway runs from Golmud in China’s Qinghai province to Lhasa, Tibet’s capital. Most of its length is above 4,000 meters in elevation, and 50 kilometers is above 5,000 meters.

Passengers are given oxygen masks to use at some of the higher elevations! 

See: http://www.geotimes.org/current/feature_railroad.html for the complete article.

I am (or rather, someone else at my office is) looking into whether our software was used for this project, but with 100 permafrost engineers and 200 geotech engineers involved, I’d be amazed if they weren’t using SLOPE/W, TEMP/W, SIGMA/W and possibly even QUAKE/W on a regular basis.

(Meanwhile back in the West, technology isn’t quite so advanced–I can’t seem to leave a blank line between my paragraphs today!)

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