A direct rail service between the southern city of Guangzhou and Tibet's principal hub Lhasa will begin on October 1, China's national day, state media reported. The section of railway linking Lhasa to Qinghai province and the rest of China ï¿½ which climbs to more than 5,000 meters above sea level and was described by Beijing as an engineering miracle ï¿½ opened on July 1 and direct rail services to Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou and Xining have been introduced. The Lhasa-Guangzhou service will take three days and two nights to complete the trip. Critics of the Tibet railway say the transport link will simply speed up the cultural and environmental degradation of the region. It was reported Monday that insurance companies will offer a US$11 altitude sickness policy, which will cover up to US$1,250 in medical expenses for travelers who fall sick en route.