Lhasa Train is Chugging Away

We’ve posted a few times already about the controversial railroad the Chinese government has been building to Lhasa, Tibet. Well, now it’s a reality. The first train pulled into Lhasa on Monday and with it came the first rolling stock of Chinese gentrification that will undoubtedly change the region forever.

The train, hermetically pressurized to keep out the thin air of the Himalayas, presented a few surprises on the maiden voyage. Despite the sealed cabins, the change in air pressure blew-up packaged goods, the ink tubes in ballpoint pens, and even the “tiny airbags” in laptops and MP3 players that are designed to cushion the internal parts. Some passengers faired equally poorly, throwing up as the train chugged away at 16,000 feet.

Hmm… maybe this gentrification thing will take a bit longer than expected.