PLA utilized the newly opened Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region to transport troops into the region.
Soldiers at a combined arms brigade affiliated with the PLA Tibet Military Command recently took a Fuxing bullet train on the railway to an exercise field at an elevation of 4,500 meters. This is the first time the Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway, an important part of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, has hosted a troop transport mission, and marks another step forward on the systematic development of China's military transport, js7tv.cn, a news website affiliated with the PLA, reported on Wednesday.
Opening on June 25 as the first bullet train line in Tibet, the 435-kilometer railway connects Lhasa with the city of Nyingchi. It takes only about three and a half hours for a one-way ride, cutting almost half the time it takes to travel between the two cities by road.
Trains are a key means to transport military personnel, equipment and supplies on a large scale, as it can serve to complement road transport, which is slower but can transport more, and air, which is faster but can transport less, a Chinese military expert was quoted as saying by the Global Times.
Roads to and in Tibet are long and built under challenging environments including complex terrains and high altitude, and traveling such a long distance could cause troops to suffer from fatigue, and aircraft sometimes cause altitude sickness in plateau regions and have limited transport capacity, the expert added.