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Now you can take a train to Tibet, the roof the world. Although travel to Tibet by train will take you more time than by plane, it is cheap and gives you much more enjoyment of wonderful landscapes on Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

Timetable and Availability for the Qinghai-Tibet railway

The first train to Tibet was inaugurated on 1 July, 2006, after that, new timetable of Tibet train was launched on 18 July, 2007 and 1st April, 2010. The Tibet train timetable below is updated to the one on April 1st, 2010.

Lhasa-Xining: 24 hours 18 minutes; Distance: 1,972km
Lhasa-Beijing: 47 hours 04 minutes; Distance: 4,064km
Lhasa-Shanghai: 49 hours 15 minutes; Distance: 4,373km
Lhasa-Xi'an: 35 hours 52 minutes; Distance: 2,864km
Lhasa-Lanzhou: 27 hours 06 minutes; Distance: 2,188 km
Lhasa-Chengdu: 44 hours 42 minutes; Distance: 3,360km
Lhasa-Chongqing: 46 hours 04 minutes; Distance: 3,654km
Lhasa-Guangzhou: 56 hours 08 minutes; Distance: 4,980km

Tickets price for Qinghai-Tibet railway

Departure Destination Distance Hard-Seat Hard Berth Soft Berth
Beijing(west) Lhasa 4064 km 363RMB 766RMB 1189RMB
Chengdu Lhasa 3360 km 331RMB 712RMB 1104RMB
Chongqing Lhasa 3654 km 355RMB 754RMB 1168RMB
Lanzhou Lhasa 2188 km 242RMB 552RMB 854RMB
Xining Lhasa 1972 km 219RMB 513RMB 796RMB
Guangzhou Lhasa 4980 km 451 RMB 923 RMB 1530RMB
Shanghai Lhasa 4373 km 406 RMB 845 RMB 1314RMB
(Update: 2011-11-01)

Note:
01. The ticket price for train into Lhasa is the same.
02. Xi'an is just a stopover for Lhasa-Beijing, Lhasa-Shanghai, Lhasa-Guangzhou and Lhasa-Chongqing, but a lot of people will get off the train there to visit Xi'an.
Detailed Click here

How to get the train tickets

Train tickets in China can only be bought 10days (or sometime just 5 days) before departure date at the departure city. Beijing-Lhasa train tickets can only be bought in Beijing and train tickets out of Lhasa can only be bought in Lhasa . Since we are local in Lhasa , we can well guarantee the train tickets out of Lhasa for you, and there is no service charge for it. If you do want to take train into Lhasa , we will contact our local operator, but they will want some commission (about 50USD/per person) for this service as train tickets are in high demand and they are difficult to get especially for soft-sleeper. If you think that you can buy train ticket, also can buy.

Soft sleeper (Soft Berht) vs hard sleeper (Hard Berth)

The train to and from Tibet has three classes: soft seat, hard sleeper (hard berth) and soft sleeper (soft berth).

Soft Sleeper: There are four bunks in a soft sleeper cabin, two upper and two lower bunks. There is a door for a 4 bunks soft sleeper cabin and there is LCD television for each bunk, but it plays Chinese programming only. There is a table with tablecloth and a vacuum flask of hot water for making tea or drinking chocolate or cuppa soups if you’ve brought some. There are power sockets for laptops and mobiles under the table.China voltage is 220V.

Hard Sleeper: There are six bunks in a hard sleeper cabin, an upper, middle and a lower one on each side. There is not a door for a hard cabin and there is not television. The power sockets are along the aisle outside the cabin and there are quite limited. Hard sleeper car is a little far from the dinning car. If you are on a tight budget, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take hard sleeper, as many western backpackers do. Cushion used in soft sleeper is softer than the “hard” sleeper, but hard sleeper bunks are reasonably well padded and the “hard” is comfortable enough for a good sleep, and bedding is supplied. Just one thing, as there is not a door for a hard sleeper cabin, it is a little noisy at night as someone are playing cards or chatting with others.

Soft seat: most Chinese people call it hard seat; actually there is not hard seat for trains concerning Tibet . The seat is soft; some tourists told me it is equivalent to first & second class on a European train. It is crowded in the soft-seat cars and you will be very tired if you are seating for long hours. So there are fewer western people taking soft seat.

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