The most luxurious train in the world?

According to the AFP, the most luxurious train in the world could be beginning operations in China later this year:

China will launch “the most luxurious train in the world” to ply the route from Beijing to Tibet’s capital Lhasa, state media reported Sunday.

However, a ride on the train, which will begin operations on September 1, will be about 20 times more expensive than the ordinary fare of about 2,000 yuan (280 dollars), Xinhua news agency said.

“The interior of the train will be decorated according to the standards of a five-star hotel, making it the most luxurious train in the world,” said Zhu Mingrui, general manager of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Corporation.

“Such a train can only seat 96 passengers. The fare would be about 20 times the normal price and also much more than an airline ticket,” he said.

There will be three trains, which will head from Beijing to Lhasa every eight days. The luxury journey will take five days.

Each train will have 12 passenger cars, two dining cars and a sightseeing car. Each passenger car will have four ten-square-metre (108-square-foot) suites featuring a double bed, a living room and bathing facilities.

The train line to the Himalayan “roof of the world” went into operation in July 2006.

Chinese authorities see the 1,142-kilometre (710-mile) railway as an important tool in modernising and developing Tibet, which has been part of China since its troops occupied the region in 1950.

However, critics say that the line is allowing the Han Chinese, the national majority, to flood into Tibet, leading to the devastation of the local culture as well accelerating environmental degradation of the region.

Comments (3)

  1. Simon Pielow says:

    The Tangula Trains will now start operations in April 2009.

  2. Don’t forget if you are planning a trip into Lhasa from China to obtain the semi-mythical permit for Tibet (TTB). Also the Alien Travel Permit if traveling outside Lhasa, these can be arranged locally in Lhasa via an agent.

  3. Cleo says:

    This would have to be very comfortable to make it worthwhile to visit the apex of nowhere. For nonpolitical-minded, Tibet sounds like Montana. It sounds nice but most of us are going to spend their money on Paris or the beach in a modern developed part of the world. What kind of medical facilities does Lhasa have to offer anyway? What if someone has an accident and needs a top shelf plastic surgeon asap?

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