China has rewritten the world's history of railway construction with its completion of the world's highest railway, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, on the roof of the world.
Splendid scenery en route
The views are breathtaking. Clouds float in the vast azure sky over the plateau through which towering, snow-covered peaks may occasionally be glimpsed, before a clear blue lake suddenly springs into view. Wild donkeys race the train across seemingly boundless pastureland, occasionally keeping up, as they are capable of reaching 60 km per hour at a gallop. In contrast, the wild yak indigenous to the plateau strolls along at a calm, steady pace.
The highest point of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the Tanggula Mountain Pass, which is at an altitude more than 5,000 meters above sea level. At this point passengers may experience slight high-altitude-reaction symptoms, such as headaches, but they soon pass as the train heads downward.
Tibet Train tickets booking
There are now five train routes to Tibet: from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Xining in Qinghai Province. All the trains to Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, are equipped with the most advanced technology.
The train ticket from Beijing to Lhasa is the most difficult one to buy, recommend you to do it in this way: Fly Beijing/Lhasa, take train Lhasa/Xian. As all of these five trains stop at Xian en route, you can continue your trip to visit Xian, Three Gorges Dam, Shanghai, Hong Kong and more.
Because the train suppliers are not enough in China, a train pre-booking system is not available in China now. We only provide train ticket booking service for guests who buy our package service or other tours. If you only ask us to book a train ticket, we do not offer this type of service.
Facilities and service on the train
Inhabitants of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau tell of the four-seasons-in-one-day- temperatures that they experience in their plateau home. This is not the case for passengers on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. They can enjoy the changing scenery from their train window in the comfort of a constant temperature. All the train windows are double-glazed and UV protective, and oxygen is available for any passengers that experience symptoms of altitude sickness.
Carriages are installed with Canadian-made lightning insulation, an air filtering system, oxygen breathing devices, and air-conditioners that puff out oxygen when it is needed. Oxygen dispensing facilities are available near seats and in passageways. Any passenger suffering from an adverse reaction to high altitude can ask for an oxygen inhaler that plugs in to the dispensing device by their seat.
Other train facilities include built-in garbage containers, bright and spacious washrooms, and environment-friendly toilets that do not discharge waste on to the rails. Each car also has a toilet for the disabled. Wireless communication services along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway ensure that passengers have unrestricted access to information from around the world. The dining car is decorated in typical Tibetan style and also provides box lunches and suppers for RMB 20, but the rice is not as tender as it would normally be owing to the low oxygen at high altitudes. Breakfast comprises gruel, buns and cold pickled vegetables. Tibetan passengers usually bring along their own comestibles of dried beef and zanba (roasted barley flour, a staple of the Tibetans) that they have with a drink of hot water.
The train stewards are carefully trained and briefed. Before arriving at each scenic spot, a member of the crew explains its background in Mandarin, Tibetan and English and points out particularly striking aspects of the topography. In order to ensure sufficient power and oxygen supply, Qinghai-Tibet Railway trains are powered with three-engine, full steam diesel locomotives designed by GE.