The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's highest and longest railway, not only brings convenience for the residents on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to travel but also enormous wealth for them.
"Our life changed a lot since we moved to Chaka Township," said Shen Deping, a resident of the township's Bayin Village. Along with other villagers, Shen and her family moved to the township from mountainous areas to shake off poverty in 2016.
"Before moving here, I planted wheat, highland barley and other crops to make a living. We lived a hard life," she said. Thanks to the booming tourism brought by the railway, Shen, like many other villagers, now has bid farewell to poverty.
Bayin Village is located close to Chaka Salt Lake, a hot tourist attraction in northwest China's Qinghai Province. The local government also encouraged villagers to run hotels and provided subsidies for them.
In 2016, China Railway Qinghai-Tibet Group Co. Ltd. launched a tourist train service for the attraction, which has made more than 500,000 trips so far.
The hotel business of Shen's family is hot especially on the National Day holiday from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8. "Some customers had booked their orders more than a month in advance," she said. Since the launch of the train service, the family has doubled its income and can earn around 300,000 yuan (about 44,000 U.S. dollars) each year.
"I am planning to expand our business and hire more waiters. It is possible for us to double the income again," said Shen.
Besides tourism, the railway has also promoted the development of logistics on the plateau. More than 800 households in Sema Village in Lhasa City, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, have shaken off poverty in 2015 thanks to the industry.
"There was not even a decent electrical appliance in my house before the railway was open to traffic," said Nyimatserin, a villager in Sema. In 2007, the village established a logistics company with the support of the local government. Starting with 30 minivans, the company now has more than 100 large vans.
"The per capita income of villagers increased to 10,000 yuan in 2018 from the original 2,000 yuan," said Nyimatserin. "Our job in logistics is busier than before, but we are also happier than before."