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Lhasa Railway Station

Last updated: May,27 2017

Lhasa Railway Station is the largest station in Tibet, and the end of the line for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. It is the station where all the trains to Tibet end, and where your adventure in Tibet truly begins.

Lhasa Railway StationLhasa Railway Station

The station is located in Niu New Area of Doilungdêqên District, around 1km south of the Lhasa River, at an altitude of 3,641 meters. The station is linked to Lhasa City by the Liuwu Bridge, one of the major notable structures of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which runs from Xining to Lhasa. The station is large and has 10 tracks – 8 for arrival departure of passenger trains and 2 for freight trains - that are served by seven platforms, and the entire station is covered to protect from the weather. It receives trains from the major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai,Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Lanzhou, and Xining.

Liuwu BridgeLiuwu Bridge links to Lhasa city

Lhasa Station Building

The main building façade is designed in the traditional Tibetan style, with an influx of modern design, and are decorated in the traditional red and white of Tibetan architecture. It is an imposing building, set against a backdrop of the hills rising behind it, with the sign on the roof in 6-foot-high, gold-colored Chinese characters, which reads “Lhasa”.

Lhasa Railway StationWalking through the huge entrance to Lhasa Railway Station and feel gold-colored Chinese characters

Inside the building has three floors, one below ground and two above. Walking through the huge entrance, one could be forgiven for thinking they were entering a Tibetan palace, until the modern interior drags you back to reality. The central hall on the ground floor has waiting rooms with soft seats and three VIP waiting rooms. The VIP rooms are decorated with soft carpets and hanging tapestries of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest), Potala Palace, and other famous scenes in Tibet. Waiting rooms for ordinary passengers are in the west end of the hall, along with the ticket hall.

 VIP waiting rooms VIP waiting rooms

On the second floor, there are waiting rooms for normal passengers, as well as soft-seated rooms, special mother and baby rooms, and military waiting rooms. There are also medical treatment rooms, which are fully staffed with nurses and a doctor, so anyone suffering from altitude sickness after their journey can get immediate treatment. It also includes a large market for shopping. The underground floor is for arrival passengers, and the entire building uses solar-powered heating to save the environment and reduce pollution.

Soft-seated waiting roomsSoft-seated waiting rooms

Internally, the general waiting room covers around 1,760 square meters, while the soft seat rooms cover 800 square meters and the VIP rooms 700 square meters. Outside, the station opens in a huge square, with the City buses parked on the east side and the long-distance bus station on the west side. Buses run from there to Chamdo, Ngari, Zhangmu, and Shangri-la, and once the border is open again, Kathmandu in Nepal. Taxis also wait on the main road in front of the station for the convenience of passengers.

Lhasa Railway Station platformLhasa Railway Station platform

Lhasa station is a tribute to the Tibetan tourist industry, was opened on July 1, 2006, and is a first-rate facility for passengers and commodities in and out of Tibet. The whole station covers an area of 23,600 square meters, and the building is 22.9 meters high. On average around 2,700 passengers pass through its doors every day, both arrivals and departures.

Transport to Lhasa Town

Getting from the station to Lhasa is easy, as there are both buses and taxis who can take you there, although if you are on a tour with an operator, they normally pick you up at the station to take you to your hotel, as foreign visitors are not permitted to travel in Tibet alone. A tour guide is required for all travel, and they will ensure that you have the right permits for travel outside Lhasa, and in other areas that require special permission. Pick up for the tour vans is on the west side of the station, in the parking and pick-up area. Private vehicles are not allowed within 150 meters of the station entrance.

Tour van at Lhasa Railway StationTour van at Lhasa Railway Station

For people who use the taxi services, the average fare from the station to Lhasa downtown is around ¥26-¥30 during the day, and ¥30-¥35 between midnight and 7:00am. The buses that run from the station run from the west parking areato downtown Lhasa regularly. Buses are numbered, similar to buses in western countries, and the routes from the station to Lhasa are Public Buses 1, 6, 13, and 14. The average bus fare to the town is just ¥1. Bus No. 6 will take you to within easy walking distance of both Barkhor Street and Potala Palace.

Lhasa city busLhasa city bus

Scheduled Trains from Lhasa Railway Station to Mainland China

Trains depart from Lhasa station daily, several times a day, and both are often booked in advance. It is always a good idea to book tickets in advance for travel back to mainland China, as the volume of passengers on the trains – especially in the peak months of summer – is extremely high. For anyone traveling back to mainland China by train, the schedule is easy to find, and the friendly staff at the station are always willing to help you find your train and platform. There are scheduled trains from Lhasa to Beijing, Xining, Chengdu, Shanghai and other cities which offer trains to Tibet. The following is the latest Tibet train schedule from Lhasa.

Tibet Train RouteDep./Arr.DistanceFrequencyHard SeatHard SleeperSoft SleeperDetails
Lhasa to Beijing
3,757 km Every Day CNY 360 CNY 720 CNY1,144 Details
Lhasa to Shanghai
4,373 km Every Day CNY402.5 CNY793.5 CNY1262.5 Details
Lhasa to Guangzhou
4,980 km Every Day CNY447 CNY865 CNY1,468 Details
Lhasa to Chengdu
3,360 km Every Other Day CNY328 CNY668 CNY1,062 Details
Lhasa to Chongqing
3,641 km Every Other Day CNY335 CNY680 CNY1,079 Details
Lhasa to Xian
2,864 km Every Day CNY293.5 CNY611.5 CNY969.5 Details
Lhasa to Lanzhou
2,188 km Every Other Day CNY240 CNY522 CNY823 Details
Lhasa to Xining
1,972 km Every Other Day CNY224 CNY495 CNY781 Details

1. Unreserved seats are available. This means you are not guaranteed a seat, but if one does become available, you may take it, otherwise you will have to stand in the aisles. Prices are usually the same as the hard seat price.
2. Prices above do not include the Tibet Travel Permit.
3.Besides, Lhasa-Xining train Z6812 is a seasonal train that usually runs at night.

Lhasa station is a major feat of modern engineering at the roof of the world. Such construction is hard even in the lower elevations at sea level. However, at the higher elevation of Lhasa, over 3,600 meters above sea level, work on this kind of building is even harder. A testament to the designers and workers built it, and rushed to get it ready for the opening on July 1, 2006. The station was completed less than two weeks before the opening, and the huge gold Chinese letters of the name were the last thing to be erected, on June20, 2006.

Upon your arrival at Lhasa railway station if you’ve booked a Tibet trip with us, one of our Tibetan local tour guide will meet and escort you to your hotel in Lhasa. Your lifetime Tibet tour will start from right here.

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