Nepal Train: Are There Trains in Nepal and Is There a Tibet Nepal Train?

Last updated: August,01 2018

Travelling by train is not only safe and comfortable, but also rewarding and fantastic, especially when you are traversing some places with breathtaking landscapes, like Nepal and Tibet, two unique regions on this planet. Therefore, many tourists yearning for a Nepal and Tibet tour may ask: are there trains in Nepal? Is there a Tibet Nepal train? Can I get to Tibet from Nepal by train? Here in this guidance we will uncover the facts about Nepal train and Tibet Nepal Train that you have seeking for a long time, and help you to find a proper way to travel to Tibet from Nepal.

Are There Trains in Nepal?

Since Nepal is a mountainous country with closed economy, there are only two railway lines across the whole country at present. Both the two lines are in the southern Terai Plains bordering Bihar, and are operated by the state-owned Nepal Railway Company on the Nepalese side. But there is no opportunity for tourists to take a Nepal train right now, for one of the railway is under gauge conversion and the other is for freight transport.

Nepal Railway Route MapMap shows the current railway lines in Nepal and the proposed railway from Gyirong to Kathmandu.

The existing railway used for passenger transport is Jainagar-Janakpur line, which runs from Jainagar in India to Janakpur in Nepal covering 53 km in total distance. The line was initially built in 2 feet 6 inches (762 mm) in track gauge, and now is under gauge conversion to 5 feet 6 inches (1,676 mm). And it is expected to be put into use again sometime in 2018 after the completion of gauge conversion. Besides, this line will also be extended to Bardibas through Bijaplura.

The other railway is Raxaul-Sirsiya line, with a broad gauge of 5 feet 6 inches (1,676 mm). It is a 6km line for freight transport from Raxual in India to Sirsiya Inland Container Depot (or dry port) near Birganj, Nepal.

Is There a Tibet Nepal Train?

Although Nepal and Tibet are closely connected to each other both geographically and culturally, there is no train running between Nepal and Tibet at present. However, there are plans for a China Nepal Railway, which is going to link Lhasa and Kathmandu via Gyirong Port, the only crossing point between Tibet and Nepal. And the railway between Lhasa and Kathmandu can be divided into three parts: Lhasa to Shigatse, Shigatse to Gyirong and Gyirong to Kathmandu.

A good news is that one can now take the train from Lhasa to Shigatse along the Lhasa to Shigatse Railway, the first part of the China Nepal Railway and an extension of Qinghai-Tibet Railway in Tibet. The Lhasa-Shigatse train has started service since the completion of Lhasa to Shigatse railway line in August, 2014. Departing from Lhasa, the train runs southwards to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, following the Yarlung Zangbo River. There are two trains every day, and it takes about 3 hours across a distance of 248 kilometers to reach Shigatse Railway Station.

Lhasa Shigatse TrainOne can now take the train from Lhasa to Shigatse along the Lhasa to Shigatse Railway.

From Shigatse to Gyirong Port, this section of China-Tibet Railway is still in the planning stage. It is a 540 rail line running across the vast land of southwestern Tibet. The construction of this line is expected to be completed by 2020, according to the recent news. Finally, the railway from Gyirong to Kathmandu has also been proposed, as the last part to connect Nepal and Tibet by train. Instead of following the winding mountainous roads between Kathmandu and Gyirong Border, this route is planned to follow a more direct route of 120 kilometers. Once the Shigatse-Gyirong section is completed, the construction of this part to Kathmandu will start.

Therefore, for tourists dreaming of taking the Nepal Tibet train across the majestic Himalaya ranges, there is still smothering to look forward to. And in the near future, this international train between Nepal and Tibet will surely bring more prosperity to the two regions, with more travelers swarming into for sightseeing.

Other Ways to Get to Tibet from Nepal

Getting to Tibet from Nepal by train cannot be realized for the time being, but there are alternative ways to choose: enjoy an overland trip or take a flight from Nepal to Tibet. Which way to choose depends on your tour itinerary, places you plan to visit, whether you want a short trip or an in-depth journey, and your budget on your Tibet Nepal tour etc. Read the following detailed information to find a proper way for yourself.

Get to Tibet from Nepal by Road

As a popular choice, travelling from Nepal to Tibet via an overland trip is strongly recommended. Owing to the open of Gyirong Port, the new Sino-Nepal border, in August of 2017, foreign travelers now can enjoy more convenience to enter Tibet from Nepal by road. The Gyirong Port is around 160 km from Kathmandu, and it takes about 6-7 hours by bus. After crossing the border, you can travel along the well-paved highway, passing by snowy mountains and plateau lakes, until reach Lhasa.

On the way, you can drop by some of the greatest attractions in Tibet, like Everest Base Camp, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Yamdrok Lake etc. Undoubtedly, the overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa will be an awe-spring experience, especially for travelers who want to have an in-depth discovery of natural beauty and cultural charm of Tibet.

Get to Tibet from Nepal by Flight

The other option is to take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, which departs every day and takes only about 1.5 hours to arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport. By this way, you can have a short transfer from Nepal to Tibet. The flight will also allow you to have a chance to see the amazing peak view of Himalaya ranges. After your arrival in Lhasa, you can freely plan your tour in Tibet according to the places you want to visit.

Get to Tibet from Nepal by FlightIn addition to overland trip, one can take a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu.

Prepare Required Documents for Travelling Tibet from Nepal

No matter which way you choose, the trip from Nepal to Tibet will always be an adventure across the roof of the world. And before you commence your journey, remember to prepare the required travel documents, like Tibet Travel Permit, Group Tourist Visa, and Aliens’ Travel Permit etc. As a reputable and experienced local travel agency in Tibet, we can help you to apply for the permits, as well as to arrange tour itinerary, transportation and other travel issues you concern. Please feel free to contact us for more details.

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