Magazine

Nov 16, 2017

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat

In Mongolia's Gobi desert, thousands of heavy-duty trucks laden with coal inch along a cluttered highway towards the Chinese border in a journey that can take more than a week.

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
1

A man eats instant noodles in the cabin of his truck at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. Truckers cook, eat and sleep inside their vehicles. Noodles are sold from smaller vans driving up and down the road. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
2

A man carries tanks with diesel fuel on the road near the border with China in Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. Vendors sell fuel by pushcarts and from the back of cabs to coal truck drivers waiting on the road. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
3

Three men eat a dinner of instant noodles and dried beef inside a truck at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. Truckers cook, eat and sleep in vehicles covered in coal dust, many subsisting on the same meat soup that fuelled Genghis Khan's Mongol Horde more than eight centuries ago. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
4

A man services a tyre on a coal truck near the border with China at Khangobd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
5

Trucks carrying coal are seen on the road as darkness descends on the route to the border with China in Khanbogd Soum, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
6

Sheep meat and cooking gas are seen in the back of a van on the road to the Mongolia-China border at Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. Smaller vehicles travel up and down the highway to the Mongolia-China border selling water and food to coal truck drivers who are many days away from a rest stop. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
7

A man smiles as he tries to free his truck, which is stuck in the sand at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
8

A truck driver repairs his truck on the side of the road near the the border with China in Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
9

A portion of an unfinished railway project is seen in Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
10

A heard of camels graze at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
11

A man carries groceries to men who are digging their coal truck out of the sand at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
12

Vehicles and traditional gers are seen at Tsagaan Khad in Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
13

Trucks filled up with coal are lined up in the early morning in Khanbogd Soum, some 20 kilometres from the border with China, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
14

A photographer casts his shadow near a coal truck which flipped over at Khanbogd Soum, near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. Getting to the border can be a harrowing ordeal, as vehicles speed towards China and back down the one-lane road. With no street lamps to guide the way and drink-driving a constant problem, danger levels increase at night, drivers say. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
15

A man sits outside a ger at the Tsagaan Khan rest spot for truck drivers at Khangobd Soum some 20 kilometres from the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
16

People carry a skinned sheep at theTsagaan Khad rest spot in Khangobd Soum some 20 kilometres from the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
17

A truck driver washes himself with bottled water on the main highway for delivering coal to China at Khangobd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. Drivers eat and sleep in their front cabins while waiting more than a week to reach the Mongolia-China border. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
18

A man stands by a damaged truck after an accident en-route to China in Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. Getting to the border can be a harrowing ordeal, as vehicles speed towards China and back down the one-lane road. With no street lamps to guide the way and drink-driving a constant problem, danger levels increase at night, drivers say. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
19

A woman stops to sell food to truck drivers near the border with China at Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. A megaphone mounted on her car plays a recording letting drivers know she can offer food, water and fresh meat. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
20

A man sits on top of his truck to get a better signal to make a phone call at Khangobd Soum near the border with China in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
21

Trucks full of coal wait along the road at Tsagaan Khad, some 20 kilometres from the border with China in Khanbogd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 30, 2017. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
22

Thousands of heavy-duty trucks loaded with coal are lined up for up to 130 kilometres from the Mongolia-China border on a sole road in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. The journey can take more than a week. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
23

Thousands of heavy-duty trucks loaded with coal are lined up for up to 130 kilometres from the Mongolia-China border on a sole road in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 31, 2017. The journey can take more than a week. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

Border jam puts Mongolia’s coal lifeline under threat
24

Thousands of heavy-duty trucks loaded with coal are lined up for up to 130 kilometres from the Mongolia-China border on a sole road in the Gobi desert, Mongolia, October 29, 2017. The journey can take more than a week. RENTSENDORJ BAZARSUKH/REUTERS

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