To quote Bob Dylan, there’s a slow train coming. It’s called the Beijing-Lhasa “express” and it seems just about everybody has an opinion on it.
Newsweek’s Melinda Liu is doing a video blog of her trip on the newly completed Beijing-Lhasa express. The (first?) segment [link no longer exists] is a bit short, but certainly worth watching. It comes with an article. I think (but am not sure) that more posts will follow from Ms. Liu and I will post again on this when and if they do. Another good trip account can be found on the Moderate Voice Blog.
For those wanting additional information and perspectives on this groundbreaking run, check out the Washington Post, Ultima Thule, China Snippets, and Thomas Barnett. To greatly summarize, the widely divergent views on it range from viewing it as bad for the locals and the environment, to good for China and the economy. Nobody disputes that its pressurized rail-cars and permafrost stabilization qualify it as an amazing engineering feat.