Chengdu – Lhasa Trains

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.

Take Z322 train at Chengbai Du station (i.e. North Railway Station). Chengdu to Lhasa train every other day.  It mainly passes through (stop): Chengdu, Guangyuan, Baoji, Lanzhou,  Xining, Delingha, Golmud, Naqu, Lhasa.

The Qinghai Tibet railway, known as the “heavenly road”, has beautiful scenery along the way. The train passes through Shapotou, Zhongwei, Ningxia, and crosses the scenic spot along the winding Yellow River. After that, pass over Kunlun, stepped on snow mountain, Tanggula pass, Tuotuo River and Kekexili all passed through the train window.

The best season to go to Tibet

Best time to travel to Tibet is from March to November. June, July and August are the peak tourist seasons in Tibet. During peak time the price for Ticket and others are higher. April, May, September or October is the most suitable time to enter Tibet.

What to prepare for a trip to Tibet:

  1. Take medicine with you. It is recommended to take gastrointestinal medicine, cold medicine, commonly used anti-inflammatory drug, car sickness drug, headache powder, analgesic tablets, and some band-aid.
  2.  For clothing,  the temperature in Tibet has a huge difference between day and night time, You need to prepare sweaters and woollen pants also. You can take a fleece jacket and a thick storm suit if you are travelling to Mount Everest or Nagri region. You can wear outdoor low top casual shoes and a long brimmed hat to shade the sun.
  3.  Article class UV proof sunglasses, sunscreen, umbrella, camera, with a mobile phone standby

Future Chengdu Lhasa Railway line

Although the linear distance is around 1,250km, the train travel covers a total length of 3,360km, as it passes through Qinghai.

Luckily, a new railway, Sichuan-Tibet Railway has been under construction since 2014. When completed in 2028, the duration between the two cities will be greatly shortened to around 13 hours. it traverses directly between two cities. 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, favourable 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 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 travellers.
  • The ticket inspector is checking tickets at Chengdu Railway Station when travellers are boarding the train.

Transportation to Chengdu Railway Station

By Bus

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

By Metro

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)

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 the 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 the Qinghai-Tibet train is truly popular. It’s extremely difficult for individual travellers 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 travellers may feel uncomfortable spending 47 hours on the train. With the majority of scenic view appearing at the last section of the 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 a flight from Chengdu to Xining, and then moving to Tibet by train, in this way you can save time and energy.

Railway Rules and Regulations You Should Know

China railway rules and regulations are different from 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 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.
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