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Train to Tibet

Question and Answers that will help you enjoy your
Tibetan Adventure.

Train to Tibet 1

The train to Tibet is a great adventure to be had by all, with many wonderful sites to see along the way.

Below are some questions and answers that cover the basics on the train to Tibet.

What is the condition like on the train to Tibet?

All the trains are specially equipped for highland traveling. Each car is equipped with an oxygen-supply system to maintain the air pressure at a suitable level.

Each seat will be equipped with an oxygen mask which can be used by individual passengers if needed.

All railway cars are equipped with double-layer glass which is covered with anti-ultraviolet radiation film.

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From where can I take a train to Lhasa?

There are currently three train services to Lhasa from Beijing, Xining/Lanzhou and Chongqing/Chengdu. The Guangzhou to Lhasa service will begin in October.

Which railway station in Beijing does the train to Tibet go from?

The train will depart from the Beijing West Railway Station.

How long will it take to get to Lhasa?

Please see full timetable and prices below.

Can you buy a ticket like an ordinary train ticket?

Yes, you have to line up in the train ticketing center or the railway station; however you may not get a ticket when you get to the ticket window, all maybe sold out.

At the moment you can not pre-book so the agents, travel group people may also be in the queue.

Where can you buy the tickets? Are these registered Tibet Travel agents?

You can buy the tickets at the railway station or appointed ticketing center. At the moment no travel agency can buy in advance.

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Can you buy a train to Tibet one way ticket? Do you have to buy a return ticket?

You can by a one way ticket, you do not have to buy a return ticket.

Can you buy a ticket for a group? What are the most number of tickets you can buy?

The person who lines up can buy only two berth tickets or three seat tickets at one time and then you have to queue again.

Will the ticket office sell you a train ticket and a Tibetan permit?

The train ticket center only sells the train tickets, not a permit for Tibet.

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You still need at this time a permit for Tibet, but the train ticket offices etc do not deal with this issue.

I have been told if you just buy a ticket and get on the train , 2 or 3 days later you will arrive in Lhasa and be able to get off just like any other train station, you will not be asked for a permit,

BUT, you still need one if you are to travel around Tibet and if you are asked to show your permit in Lhasa or anywhere and you do not have one you will be asked to leave.

It’s all a bit loose at the moment so please double check everything before you go, agents that you will contact will say YES you still need a permit and by law you still need one, however you can just get on the train to Lhasa, its when you get off and asked to show the permit things get a bit grey.

I have been told that at the Lhasa train station there is not place to get a permit and if you are found without one, they will send you back.

I am sure all this mess will sort itself out, however just be aware that’s all.

An important point with the train to Tibet.

Tourists that take on the train do so for many reasons, however there are two main reasons.

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1 - There is an understanding among tourists thinking that taking the train to Tibet up to the Tibetan Plateau will reduce or you will have no altitude sickness.

This is not correct because the train is pressurized with oxygen within the train; therefore the train is like another train at low attitude, you will feel the affect of altitude when you arrive in Lhasa.

Upon arrival in Lhasa, over the load speaker system there is an announcement in English “Please walk slowly due to the altitude”.

2 – To see the amazing scenery along the way

This is correct, however if the train is delayed (some times 5-6 hours), you may miss the scenery on the way if you traveling from Beijing to Lhasa.

From the time table you can see all trains leave in the morning, either around 6:00am or 9:00am, most of the beautiful landscape to be seen while traveling the train to Tibet in the North Tibet from Lhasa to Thang-lha Mountains.

However, the trains from mainland China arrive in the evening or at night and if delayed, you will miss all the great scenery.

Therefore if you are going on the train for the scenery, it is best to travel from Lhasa to mainland China so the main scenic sites can be seen during the daytime.

I hope this answers some of your questions on this amazing train to tibet, if not please contact me and I will see if I can help

Have a safe and wonderful trip.... the time table and current prices are below.

  • Timetable
<>Train Number <>Departure <>Destination <>Departure Time <>Arrival Time <>Traveling Time
T27 Beijing(west) Lhasa 2130 2058 (the 3rd day) 47hrs 28min.
T28 Lhasa Beijing(west) 0800 0800 (the 3rd day) 48hrs
T22/3 Chengdu Lhasa 1818 1828 (the 3rd day) 48hrs 10min.
T24/1 Lhasa Chengdu 0905 0955 (the 3rd day) 48hrs 50min.
T222/3 Chongqing Lhasa 1920 1828 (the 3rd day) 47hrs 08min.
T224/1 Lhasa Chongqing 0905 0955 (the 3rd day) 48hrs 50min.
K917 Lanzhou Lhasa 1645 2230 (the 2nd day) 29hrs 45min.
K918 Lhasa Lanzhou 0932 1545 (the 2nd day) 30hrs 13min.
N917 Xining Lhasa 2007 2230 (the 2nd day) 26hrs 23min.
N918 Lhasa Xining 0932 1219 (the 2nd day) 26hrs 47min.

(Note:Trains depart every other day except T27 and T28)

  • Price (Note: pricescould change at any time
Departure Destination Distance Hard-Seat Hard Berth Soft Berth
Beijing (west) Lhasa 4064 km 389RMB 813RMB 1262 RMB
Chengdu Lhasa 3360 km 331RMB 712RMB 1104 RMB
Chongqing Lhasa 3654 km 355RMB 754RMB 1168 RMB
Lanzhou Lhasa 2188 km 242RMB 552RMB 854RMB
Xining Lhasa 1972 km 226RMB 523RMB 810RMB

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