Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tibetan Rail Link

China has just inaugurated the first rail connection with Tibet. The link with the rest of the country in places has been constructed over permafrost. Some of the track is at 5,000 metres elevation and requires pressurized wagons, just like a plane. The train was built by Bombardier, the Canadian multinational company which specializes in trains and planes and, wait for it....... not automobiles, rather snowmobiles. As the Chinese economy expands so does interior development. Tibetans of course do not wish to see their culture swamped but that appears to be what is happening. The han ethnics are flooding out Tibetans by shear numbers just as in Mongolia. Did the North American indian welcome the iron horse?