Lhasa Express Train Guide

“Mystical, distant and impenetrable on lofty plateau”, the old image of Tibet was long gone with the birth of Tibet train, also known as Lhasa Express. Completed and opened for travelers in July, 2016, Tibet train, topping out 5072m and covering 1956km from Xining to Lhasa, became the world’s highest, safest and most reliable alternative to flight and treacherous road trip to holy Tibet.

With 86% of the railway running over 4000m across sublime Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Tibet train tour promised epic scenic ride and got the title as “ Sky Train”.

As the insider of China Tibet Train tour and the sole partner of China Railway, we will give you an encyclopedic knowledge of Tibet train and guaranteed your Tibet train ticket once you book your Tibet train tour with us. Read on to get the latest information about Lhasa Express Train and get inspired for your lifetime Tibet train journey with us.

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Lhasa Express Train Facilities

Being specially designed to run above the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, the Lhasa Express Train is well-equipped with facilities and services to meet the demand of every passenger and to make your Tibet train journey pretty safe and never dull.

There are three types of seats available on each Tibet train, namely soft sleeper, hard sleeper, and hard seat.

However, for the long-distance Tibet train ride which normally takes over 24 hours, sleeper cabin will be the preferred choice for tourists to have a comfortable travelling experience. There are many differences between the soft sleeper and the hard sleeper, mainly in berth number, facilities, ticket price etc. And which cabin to choose will depend on your own requirement.

  • Soft Sleeper Cabin

    It is the first class cabin on the Lhasa Express Train. Each soft sleeper cabin is provided with 4 berths (2 upper berths and 2 lower berths) and a lockable door. Tourists taking the soft sleeper will enjoy good privacy and more personal space, but the ticket price will be higher than that of the hard sleeper.

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  • Hard Sleeper Cabin

    It has a lower ticket price for each berth inside. However, there is no lockable door provided for privacy. With 6 berths in one hard sleeper cabin, there is less room left for each berth. With more passengers in the same-sized carriage, the hard sleeper cabin may be noisier as well.

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Besides the sleeping cabin, there are more featured facilities Onboard

Different from other normal trains in China, the train to Tibet is specially provided with an oxygen supply system to cope with the high altitude along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Other facilities onboard Lhasa Express Train are just like those on the ordinary trains in China. There is a dining car offering three meals a day with snacks and soft drinks, and 24-hour boiled water supplied onboard.

Public facilities like bathrooms are also averagely conditioned, with both western-style and Chinese-style toilets. Tourists are advised to take your own toilet paper, and enough for the entire trip onboard. Near the toilets, there are washing areas where you can do some cleaning and washing. Also, you need to bring your own toiletries, as there is no any soap or toothpaste provided there.

  • Dining Car

    There is one dining car offering freshly cooked meals for passengers onboard. During the meal time, you can head to the dining car carriage to order the dishes. The dishes prepared in the dining car are typically Chinese and Tibetan styles. There is also a trolley selling boxed meal and other snacks by the trainman.

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  • Oxygen Supply System

    There are 2 sets of oxygen sources available when the Lhasa Express train runs between Golmud and Lhasa. One is released throughout the cabins when the train reaching Golmud Train Station; 2) the other is connected to the oxygen outlet for each passenger to directly absorb oxygen, in case you feel light headed.

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  • Toilet

    Both western-style and Chinese-style toilets are equipped on the train to Tibet. Also, there are disabled access toilets onboard. But there is no private washroom on board, which means it is impossible to take a shower during your Tibet train journey.

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FAQs about Life onboard Lhasa Express Trains

  • Q1: How to board the Train to Tibet?

    Once you got your Tibet train ticket, you just need to take your luggage, your passport, and your Tibet Travel Permit with you to get on the train to Tibet by following the guide in the station.

    You are suggested to arrive at the railway station at least 2 hours in advance, for you will go through a series of check before boarding the train.

    After security and luggage check, you can find your waiting room with the information shown on LED boards in the station.

    When you get on the train, you need to find your berth according to the ticket information, and then get settled to wait for the train departure.

  • Q2: Where to store my luggage on Tibet train?

    In a soft sleeper cabin, you can place your baggage in the luggage closet above the door, which is 20 inches in width and 16 inches in height. Also there is luggage space under the lower berths.

    In hard sleeper carriage, you can put your luggage under the lower sleeper berths or on the luggage rack over the aisle.

    While for hard seat passengers, you can only store your luggage on the shelves above your seat.

    For security, it is advised to lock your baggage and suitcase, and bring your valuable items where you go.

    >> Check more details about the luggage space on Tibet trains.

  • Q3: Can I take a shower on Tibet train?

    Sorry, you CAN'T take a shower on the Tibet train, since there is no private bathroom on Tibet trains. There is also no hot water for showers inside.

    Public washing facilities are provided near the toilets, discharging tap water for some cleaning and washing only.

    You need to bring your own toiletries. Since it will be a long journey to take the Tibet train, it is suggested to bring some wet papers with you onboard.

  • Q4: Is there wifi on Lhasa Express Train?

    There is NO Wi-Fi provided on the Lhasa Express Train. You can buy a local repaid SIM card that opens access to local 4G mobile data, or rent a pocket Wi-Fi upon you arrive in China.

    For other entertainment onboard, there are televisions provided in the soft sleeper cabin, but they are only for local programs. In this case, it is suggested to prepare some entertainment for yourself to kill the time onboard.

    Besides, there are plugs under the table of your sleeper cabin, so that you can get the power supply for your phone or laptops.

  • Q5:  Is it possible to have a private soft sleeper cabin on the Tibet train?

    On the Tibet train, only the soft sleeper cabin provides private rooms with a lockable door. Each soft sleeper cabin contains four berths to accommodate four passengers at most.

    There is no other luxury sleeper cabin with just two beds. If you want to book a whole private soft sleeper cabin for one or just two, you can only purchase all the four tickets in one soft sleeper cabin.

    >> How to book a whole cabin for two on Lhasa Express Train.

  • Q6: What are things to carry to in Lhasa Express Train?

    Despite its complete facilities, the Tibet train is not a hotel. So you need to bring some required items to better get through your stay onboard.

    Personal toiletries including wet wipes and toilet papers should be carried. And if you are not keen on the food on the train, you can buy your own favorite food and snacks before boarding the train.

    Since it is a long journey by taking Lhasa Express Train, you will also need some entertainment, like listening to music or watching movies. Then the kindles or iPads may be helpful to kill time onboard.

Get You Lhasa Express Train Ticket by 3 Steps

  • #1. Choose Your Train Route

    First, you need to decide which route to take.

    Currently, there are 7 gateway cities in mainland China offering trains to Tibet, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou, and Xining.

    The shortest train ride to Tibet is from Xining, which just takes around 24 hours. Since all Tibet trains will have a stopover in Xining, it will have more chance to get a Tibet train ticket of your preferred travel date there.

  • #2. Book Your Train Tickets

    You can book the ticket for Lhasa Express Train online or through the railway station of your departure city.

    Since the ticket is always in huge demand with limited supply, it is strongly suggested to book your Tibet train ticket as early as possible.

    As a better option, we can help to get your Tibet train ticket as long as you book your Tibet tour with us. Besides, we will also help to apply for the Tibet permit to get you prepared for your train journey.

  • #3. Collect the Ticket

    If you book your Tibet train ticket with us, our local staff will deliver it to you before your departure.

    Or we will offer you the booking number, you need to collect the ticket from the ticket office at the railway station by yourself.

    In this case, you are suggested to arrive in the railway station at least 2 hours in advance, so that you can have enough time to get your ticket and get on board the train.

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Why is Lhasa Express Tran Called the Sky Train

There are many trains running on a high plateau in the world, but the Lhasa Express Train is indeed a unique one which is also called the “Sky Train”.

From Xining to Lhasa, Lhasa Express train runs as far as 1956 km along the world’s highest railway, Qinghai-Tibet Railway. With 86% of the railway running over 4000m across sublime Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Lhasa Express Train has promised epic scenic ride and got the title as “Sky Train”.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is an engineering wonder in the history of rail transport and was completed under harsh conditions like extreme altitude and massive permafrost.

Highlights of Lhasa Express Train Journey to Tibet

By taking the Lhasa Express Train, you will enjoy incredible natural scenery along the rail line of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. From the vast green prairie to golden Gobi desert, from the snow-capped mountain ranges to turquoise alpine lakes, the Tibet train runs through a world-class diverse landscape you will not see in other places of the planet.

The most highlighted attractions of the Tibet train journey include Qinghai Lake, the largest water lake in China located about 130 km from Xining city; Qarhan Salt Lake, which is famous for “Long Salt Bridge", a wide over-bridge made of salt over the lake; Kunlun Mountains, where the Mount Yuzhu remains capped by snow even in summer season; Kekexili Nature Reserve, China's biggest and the world's third biggest uninhabited ranges where you will see uncommon wild creatures like Tibetan antelope and wild yak; Lake Namtso, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, with limpid lake water and breathtaking lake view.

Lhasa Express Train Railway Map

Lhasa Express Train Video and Photo

If you take the Lhasa Express Train, do not forget to take a snap of the train plate number before you get onboard. It will be a memorable moment marking the start of your Tibet train experience. Then during the train ride from Xining to Lhasa, you can get off the train to shoot some pictures when it stops at the railway station en route.

For tourists travelling by other means instead of the train, the Qinghai-Tibet Highway provides a chance for you to take great photos of the Tibet train from afar. As the road extends in parallel with the rail line, you will probably shoot the running train at some sections. Besides, the river bank area near Lhasa River Bridge is also a good spot to photograph the train.

Here we offer you the real photos and videos of the Lhasa Express Train. See what the Living Environment really is onboard and the scenery you could enjoy by train.

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