Qinghai-Tibet Trains line links Tibet and other cities in China. It stretches 1956 kilometers from Xining to Lhasa. The Qinghai-Tibet railway construction took a long time and overcame many difficulties of climate and environment. The modern design of the trains not only considers comfort, but also solves the difficulty which caused by the climate and environment of plateau. At present, there are direct trains to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xining, Chongqing and Guangzhou. Other indirect trains from Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou will stop at Xian.
|Route||Train No.||Duration||Frequency||Soft Sleeper||Hard Sleeper|
|Beijing – Lhasa||Z21||40 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1186||CNY 763|
|Guangzhou – Lhasa||Z264||55 hrs 13 mins||Daily||CNY 1526||CNY 892|
|Shanghai – Lhasa||Z164||48 hrs 39 mins||Daily||CNY 1310||CNY 841|
|Chengdu – Lhasa||Z322||43 hrs 50 mins||Daily||CNY 1101||CNY 709|
|Chongqing – Lhasa||3641km||44 hrs 17 mins||Daily||CNY 1165||CNY 730|
|Xian – Lhasa||Z265/Z165||31 hrs 36 mins||Daily||CNY 1052||CNY 668|
|Xining – Lhasa||1960km||23 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 794||CNY 497|
|Golmud – Lhasa||Z21||21 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 690||CNY 400|
|Zhenzhou- Lhasa||Z265||37 hrs 50 mins||Daily||CNY 1150||CNY 709|
|Changsha – Lhasa||Z264||46 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1293||CNY 832|
|Wuxi – Lhasa||Z164||46 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1345||CNY 832|
|Guangyuen – Lhasa||Z322||38 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1034||CNY 685|
|Wuhan – Lhasa||Z264||42 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1273||CNY 786|
|Chenzhou – Lhasa||Z264||49 hrs 50 mins||Daily||CNY 1421||CNY 892|
|Taiyuan – Lhasa||Z21||36 hrs 30 mins||Daily||CNY 1133||CNY 719|
|Shijiazhuang – Lhasa||Z21||37 hrs 50 mins||Daily||CNY 1135||CNY 731|
Qingzang Railway is the first railway in China to use the Incremental Train Control System (ITCS) for enhanced train control. Train stations with this system installed does not need signaling device or rail track circuitry. Instead, only the railroad switch devices are implemented. ITCS combines automatic block, train station interlock control, and train speeding control in one package, controlling the train when it stops at or passes through the station or when it is performing other related activities.
The wireless network system implemented is for the automatic backup of ITCS System Event Log when the train enters the station. Qingzang Railway has 78 locomotives in total. Each locomotive is equipped with one ORing TAR-120, while the train station control center is also equipped with one ORing TAR-120 – for a total of 79 TAR-120s used. On each locomotive, the TAR-120 is connected to the DVR that records the ITCS System Event Log. When the train enters the station, the TAR-120 on the locomotive communicates with the TAR-120 in the train station control center, and the ITCS System Event Log would be successfully uploaded to the train station control center.
Much of the travel involves crossing a massive plateau nicknamed “The Rooftop of the World.” Special diesel engines capable of operating efficiently at 3-mile-high altitudes were designed; an internal garbage disposal system was employed to reduce pollution along the route.
Xinging, a city of just over one million inhabitants, is situated in a remote valley on the eastern edge of Qinghai Province – occupying China’s rugged, cold-weather northern “frontier.” The city is best known for the Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Temple), one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist sites in China. The Gelugpa sect was founded here by Tsongkhapa, and the hillside monastery was erected in 1560 in his honor. Up to 2,000 monks can gather to chant sutras in the Great Hall of Meditation, whose roof is supported by carpet-wrapped pillars. The Hall of Butter Sculpture includes colorfully-painted yak butter scutptures depicting important events in Buddhist history. Once home to over 3,000 monks, Kumbum Monastery now houses 600.
The lake is about the size of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, though Qinghai Lake is not nearly as salty. Its waters support a variety of fish which, in turn, support a variety of birds – many of which call on Qinghai Lake during their bi-annual migrations. Cormorants, geese, cranes and swans are plentiful here. The summer months bring herds of yak. Over twenty rivers and streams flow into the lake but there’s no outflow; evaporation maintains its level.
The city’s economic mainstays are its burgeoning mineral, oil and chemical industries. But to the visitor Golmud’s main function is “transportation hub.” Through here funnels traffic from China’s eastern and northern cities to the lone highway (and now, the lone railroad) leading southwest to Lhasa. To many visitors passing through, Golmud’s surrounding landscape presents an almost lunar look; at an almost 10,000-foot elevation, the region is virtually treeless.