Chengdu to Lhasa Train is a hot travel route bridging Tibet with the homeland of giant pandas. The railway crosses 5 provinces and measures 3360 km. Currently, there is only one pair of non-bullet trains, Z322/Z324, running between Chengdu and Lhasa with the duration of 36/36.5 hours.
Although the linear distance is around 777 miles (1,250km), the rail travel of Z322/Z324 covers a total length of 2,088 miles (3,360km) since it uses the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which is a big detour. Luckily, a new railway, Sichuan-Tibet Railway has been under construction since 2014. When completed in 2028, a duration between the two cities will be greatly shortened to around 13 hours as it traverses directly between. The main stops of this new rail line include Chengdu, Ya’an, Garze, Chamdo, and Nyingchi.
|Train No.||Destinations||Depart||Arrival||Run Time||Distance||Hard Sleeper||Soft Sleeper|
|T22||Chengdu to Lhasa||20:45||15:40 (3rd day)||42h55m||3360km||CNY 689||CNY 1101|
|T24||Lhasa to Chengdu||10:00||08:18 (3rd day)||46h18m||3360km||CNY 689||CNY 1101|
Life on Board
Like each Lhasa-bound train, the train to Lhasa from Chengdu is also specially built for the high altitude environment and equipped with advanced facilities, such as air-conditioning, supercharging system, oxygen supply, altitude display, etc. The train is also tightly sealed so as to firstly keep the inside air pressure normal and secondly prevent passengers from littering. Besides, all the carriages are installed with double-paned windows and ultraviolet filters to protect passengers from ultraviolet radiation. Nowadays, the train journey is extremely popular for its breathtakingly unique scenery along the railway from Chengdu to Tibet.
Chengdu North Railway Station
As the major gateway to the west of China, Chengdu is a crucial capital city of Sichuan Province. Its leisurely life, favorable geographical location, and booming business have attracted over 100 internationally prestigious corporations to settle down in Chengdu. The rapid development in recent years has also led to the upgrade in its public transportation system. Tourists can have an easy access to Chengdu Railway Station via airport bus line and the subway.
- Chengdu has currently two railway station, Chengdu North Railway, and Chengdu East Railway, Chengdu to Lhasa Train departs from North Railway Station.
- Away from the entrance of Chengdu Railway Station are many green taxis waiting for newly-arrived travelers.
- The ticket inspector is checking tickets at Chengdu Railway Station when travelers are boarding the train.
Transportation to Chengdu Railway Station
1. To/from Chengdu Railway Station (成都站): 2, 9, 16, 17, 27, 34, 36, 50, 54, 55, 65, 83, 86, 108, 123, 298, K1, K2
2. To/from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (成都双流机场): Airport Shuttle Bus 2
3. To/from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station (成都茶店子汽车站): 17 and 86
Metro Line 1: straight to Chengdu Railway Station (成都站) Metro Line 2: Tianfu Square Station (天府广场站) – change to Metro Line 1 – Chengdu Railway Station (成都站)
To be able to board the Shanghai-Lhasa train, foreign tourists have to show your passport, Tibet Travel Permit, and a train ticket to the train inspector. If tourists want to travel in Tibet, you need to find a licensed and trustworthy travel agency to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit.
What sort of window view do we expect to see?
Just like the road trip by car, one could enjoy the scenery on both sides of the road. The stunning scenery along the Tibet railway line will never let you down. As the train passes Xining and enters Golmud region, the breathtaking view appears one after another. Be sure to capture the memorable experience with your camera. Major attractions are Qarhan Salt Lake, Yuzhu Peak, Kekexili Nature Reserve, Tuotuo He River, Tangula pass, Tsonag Lake, Qiangtang prairie, Namtso, etc.
Having a ride on Qinghai-Tibet train route is definitely the experience of a lifetime. Besides, the long distance and pressurized train tailor-made for acclimatization of extreme altitude make the ride different from another train journey. Following tips are suggested for tourists to better enjoy the Views on Tibet train. See more: the detailed introduction of the scenery of Qinghai-Tibet railway.
Other Alternatives to Chengdu-Lhasa Train
Taking Qinghai-Tibet train is truly popular. It’s extremely difficult for individual travelers to buy train tickets themselves during peak season. If one failed finally, don’t be disappointed.There’s another option, taking train or plane from Chengdu to Xining (The genuine starting point of Qinghai-Tibet railway), then heading to Tibet from Xining. There are several daily trains bound for Lhasa from Xining, and the capacity is even greater than Chengdu-Lhasa train. It is much easier to get tickets.
On the other hand, some travelers may feel uncomfortable spending 47 hours on the train. With the majority of scenic view appearing at the last section of railway line, i.e. from Golmud to Lhasa, so it’s a little bit waste of time to take the train all the way from Chengdu to Xining. If you have enough budget, we highly recommend you taking flight from Chengdu to Xining, and then moving to Tibet by train, in this way you can save time and energy.
Travel Tips for Catching Your Train
- Check your train ticket or consult with your ticketing agent to make sure that you get the correct train station.
- You will be allowed on board the train 30 minutes before departure time. The train will be closed 5 minutes before departure. So please well schedule your time for the transfer from your hotel to the station taking the traffic snag into consideration.
- You are requested to go through the security check (luggage check) when you enter the main hall of the train station.
- Once you are in the main hall, please see the huge live train timetable board to get the correct waiting room for your departure train.
- In the waiting room, very often you have to stand to wait there for the coming train since usually there will be very much crowded and no seats are available.
- While in the waiting room, please see the live train timetable and a signboard indicating the boarding time of your train.
- Line up for the ticket check by the ticket collectors or insert the ticket in the turnstile and then follow the throng on to the platform ( make sure to get the correct platform).
- Show your ticket to the train conductor standing the door of your carriage before you embark on your train ride.
- After the train is moving, the train conductress will walk to you again to check your passport or ID card for security reason. In addition, you have to give your ticket to the conductor in exchange for a boarding card (if sleeper tickets). The card shows your seat number same with the ticket. When the train is about to arrive, the conductress will approach you to exchange the card back for your ticket.
- If you miss the train or lose your tickets, you cannot have your tickets refunded and you have to buy another one.
- If you lose your tickets on the train, you are supposed to buy another one when passing the arrival station. So do not lose your tickets on the train
Railway Rules and Regulations You Should Know
China railway rules and regulations are different with any other country in the world. Getting familiar with these rules will make your rail travel in China more successful and happy!
Carry-on Luggage Rules:
- Inflammable and explosive dangerous goods, animal and pet are not allowed to take on board of the train.
- Weight requirement for carry-on luggage: maximum weight of carry-on luggage is 10kg for a child passenger, the maximum weight for carry-on luggage is 20kg for an adult passenger.
- Size requirment for carry-on luggage: total length of your carry-on luggage ( length+width+height) should be under 200cm.
Requirements for Child Tickets
Instead of age, China railway has special requirements on height to buy child ticket. Requirments on child ticket can be summarized as the follows:
- Children with the height under 120cm can enjoy free rail travel and don’t need to pay to travel by train.
- Children with the height of 120cm and 150cm have rights to buy discounted train tickets. Price for a sleeper ticket for a child is about 70% of that of an adult ticket.
- Children with the height above 150cm should buy fully-priced train tickets no matter how old they are.
- The timetable above is just for reference.
- We can NOT offer ticket-only service. According to the Tibet Government, foreign visitors must book a tour from a travel agency and obtain a Tibet Entry Permit before booking Tibet train ticket.
- Tibet train tickets are quite popular and always sold out quickly, please make your inquiry at least 3-5 months before your departure date.
- Because the hard and soft sleeper tickets from Chengdu to Lhasa are few and hard to get, we recommend you to take a flight to Xining, and then take the train from Xining to Lhasa.