Introduction of China Tibet Train


Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world’s highest railway, with the alternative name “rocket to the roof of the world” is an engineering wonder. It has overcome the difficulty of constructing infrastructure on the highest plateau.

The 1956-kilometer railway link begins in Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province and goes to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region. The 814 kilometer-long stretch from Xining to Golmud was built in 1979 and started operation in 1984. The 1142 kilometer stretch between Golmud and Lhasa runs south along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and was constructed by rebuilding the original 32-kilometer-long line from Golmud to Nanshankou and laying 1110 kilometers of new track. Upon its completion, the maximum train speed is designed to reach 100 kilometers per hour in the frozen earth areas and 120 kilometers per hour on non-frozen earth. Currently, there are seven major departure cities to Lhasa, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou.

Tibet Train Tour from mainland China

Due to the developed railway network and safety guarantee, It's a rather good choice to travel China by train, especially to Tibet by the Tibet train.

Why choose trains

·      Preparing your body for the high-altitude acclimatization and reduce the risk of suffering from altitude sickness to some degree. ·      The most convenient and the cheapest way to get to Tibet ·      You can experience the marvelous and majestic man-made landform and witness the amazing natural beauty of the sceneries. ·      Through the window, you can encounter the indigenous creatures like the Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey, and snow leopard all the way to Tibet.

Oxygen supply and medical issues

The passenger carriages used on Lhasa trains are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger. Every passenger train has a doctor.  Each seat in the train is equipped with an oxygen supply outlet for any possible emergency. Before the train reaches the high plateau, train attendants will distribute oxygen masks, you can connect the mask with the outlets on your bed.

Different train options

 A.    Soft sleeper (first-class option)

This is the most comfortable option on the train. You will have your own bed. There are 4 berths in each cabin and is equipped with its own TV. Each side 2 beds, upper and lower bunks. Toilets on the train are shared and are located at the end of each carriage. Furthermore, there are a lockable door to every single soft sleeper compartment.
Soft sleeper first class

B.    Hard sleeper (the second-class option)

You will have your own bed. There is enough space to lie down but not sit up on your bunk. There are 6 berths in one cabin, each side 3 berths, upper, middle and lower bunks. It is open to the aisle of the train and no door. hard sleeper

A.    Hard seat (the third-class option)

Passengers sit next to each other in open compartments of 4 or 6, you cannot lie down, and space is a bit small. Hard seat is not recommended to westerners since this cannot` help acclimatize to the high altitude.
Hard seat

Comparison of Three options in Tibet Train

Category Berth(s) TV Screen Sleeping Space Ticket Price Privacy Safety
Soft Sleeper 4 yes Bed  high high high
Hard Sleeper 6 no Bed  medium medium medium
Hard Seat 2 or 3 in a row no seat low low medium

Toilet Facilities 

There are no private washrooms anywhere on the trains, all the toilets are shared by everyone. Remember to bring your own toilet paper with you. Tibet train toilet

Public Wash Basins

As the wash basin is shared by all passengers on the carriage, it can get crowded during 7 to 9 a.m. in the morning and 6 to 9 p.m. in the evening. Wash room

Hot Water Dispensers

Boiled water dispensers for drinking and preparing instant noodles and tea can be found at the end of the aisles. Please bring your own cups and get water. Remember to drink more water and it will help prevent high altitude sickness.

There are sockets on the train but no WIFI available

There are sockets on the train for passengers to charge phones in the aisle. but remember the sockets and plugs used in China are A, C, and I. You can buy adapters in China in advance. WIFI is not available on the train, nor the access of the Internet. Smoking is not allowed in the cabin Smoking is strictly forbidden in the train as the train is tightly sealed and pressurized

Train tickets fees for children

Every adult can take 1 child who’s height is under 1.2m,Children whose height is between 1.2 meters to 1.5 meters need to pay half the price of ticket(but no seat) , and if over 1.5m, need to pay full fare of ticket. Tips: Tibet train tickets are issued 30 days prior to departure. They are often sold out very quickly after the release dates. So is best to make your reservation as early as possible(better make the payment before 60 days in advance) 

Packing list: 

1. Certifications: Tibet Travel Permit, valid passport (those who holds passport), credit card, a little cash 2. Anti-altitude medicines: Gaoyuanan or Gaoyuankang capsule, Diamox 3. Toiletries: towels, facial cleanser, soap, paper, towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, vacuum cup, flash light (train cabin lights go out at 10pm) 4. Sundries Cellphone charger, USB cable, power bank, charger, flashcards, notebook and pens.

How to Read a Tibet Train ticket:

Tibet train ticketsNote: the Tibet train ticket costs we listed in the table is net Tibet train ticket cost, but most of the time it is very difficult to get the train tickets as there are huge number of visitors taking the train every day, so certain amount of services will be added to get the tickets from local ticket agent, exact amount of service fees will different based on the season.

Beijing to Lhasa Train

Beijing West Train station (火车西站)   Address: Located near the West 3rd Ring Road, the station is only 8km from the Forbidden City, Phone: 010-51826273 or 010-51521673 Ticket Booking Hotline: 12306 Metro to There:  Line 7 or Line 9 Bus to There: No. 3, No. 9, No. 21, No. 40, No. 50, etc. Taxi to there: Taking a taxi from airport to […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
40h30m 3757 Every day CNY1186 CNY763

Shanghai to Lhasa Train

Shanghai Railway Station Address: Moling Road, Zhabei District of Shanghai (上海市闸北区秣陵路) Phone: 021-95105105 Metro to Shanghai Railway Station: Line 1, Line3, and Line4 Bus to Shanghai Railway Station: Airport Shuttle Bus No.5 from Pudong airport Taxi to Shanghai Railway Station: Taking a taxi from airport to Train station cost around CNY200 and takes about appro.1 hour.
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
47h20m 4373 Every day CNY1310.5 CNY841.5

Chengdu to Lhasa Train

Chengdu North Railway Station   Address: No. 1, Zhandong Road, Chengdu Phone: 028)-83322858 Ticket Booking Hotline: 12306 Distance from Airport: approx. 26.4km, 30 minutes, Airport Shuttle Bus No. 2  Metro to There: No. 1 Metro  Bus to There: No. 27, No 34, No 54, No 11;  Airport bus to there: approx 1:30hrs and cost CNY15. Taxi to There: Taking a taxi […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
43h07m 3360 Every other day CNY1062 CNY709

Xining to Lhasa Train

Xining Railway Station Address: No. 128 of Huzhu Road, Chengdong District, Xining Phone: 0971-9510510 Ticket booking hotline: 12306 Distance from Airport: Appro. 27km Bus to there: No.1, No.3, No.11 etc Taxi to there: Taking a taxi from airport to Xining Railway Station cost around CNY150 and takes about 40 min. Note: Please make sure that you have […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
21h41m 1972 Every day CNY808 CNY521

Chongqing to Lhasa Train

Chongqing West Railway Station Address: No. 168, Fengzhong Road, Shapingba District, Chongqing Phone: 023-65276685 Distance from Airport: Approx.45km Bus to there: No. 213, No. 441, No. 473, No. 499, No. 325, No. 504, No.526 Airport bus to there: Appro. 35 min, cost 15RMB per person  Taxi to there: Taking a taxi from airport to Chongqing West Railway […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
42h13m 3641km Every other day CNY1120 CNY720

Guangzhou to Lhasa Train

Guangzhou Train Station Address: Huanshi West Road, Yuexiu, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China Phone: (020) 86661789, 61357222, Ticket Hotline: 12306 Distance from Airport: appro. 34km Metro to There: Line 2, Line 3, Line 5 Taxi to there: Taking a taxi from airport to Railway Station cost around CNY130 and takes about 50min. Note: Please make sure that you have a copy of the […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
53h45m 4980km Everyday CNY1526 CNY919

Lanzhou to Lhasa

Lanzhou Train station  Address: No.393, East Road of Railway, Chengguan District, Lanzhou. Phone: 0931-4922222 Distance from Airport: Approx. 71Km Metro to there: Line 2 Bus to there:   No. 1, 6, 31, 110, 131, 181, 601, and K102 Taxi to there: Taking a taxi from airport to Lanzhou Train station cost around CNY200 and takes about 80min. Note: Please […]
Duration Distance Frequency Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
26h27m 2188 Every day CNY823 CNY522


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