At present, there is a daily train from Beijing to Lhasa run by China Railways. The train from Beijing to Tibet takes about 44 hours to cover 3753 kilometers, of which 1110 km are over Qinghai-Tibet railway. It departs from the Beijing West Railway Station at 20:09 and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 16:00 on the third day after nearly 44 hours. Its operational speed is 120 km/h, 100 km/h over sections laid on permafrost. The Beijing to Lhasa railway route began on July 1st, 2006 and presently costs around RMB1300 for a first-class sleeper berth, around RMB800 for a second-class sleeper berth and half that for a soft seat.
The train to Lhasa from Beijing is equipped with advanced facilities that are tailor-made according to the special elevation, temperature and other specific situations along the world's highest railway, Qinghai-Tibet Railway, such as air-conditioning, supercharging system, oxygen supply, altitude display, etc. Moreover, the totally-closed train is installed with sightseeing windows covered by anti-ultraviolet film so as to protect passengers from ultraviolet radiation. To be honest, a Beijing-Lhasa train tour is really worth a shot for the unique and wonderful scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet railway alone.
Beijing to Lhasa Train Cost
Actually, in China, the train fare does not include meals, so you need to pay the food in the train, a normal breakfast will cost you about 10RMB and a lunch or dinner 20-30RMB. Drinking water is free but if you want to have a cup of coffee or milk, you need to prepare in advance. Except the cost on food, another big expense on the Beijing to Lhasa train trip is that you have to pay the service charge to the travel agency who help you purchase the train tickets. The cost ranges from 100RMB to 500RMB in different seasons. In a word, the total cost ofBeijing Tibet Train Journey is about 1500RMB.
Chinese train numbers generally begin with a letter, which signifies the category of train. The better the category of train, the faster it is likely to be, and the more modern & comfortable the carriages are likely to be. A little higher fares are charged for the greater train categories.
C, D & G trains (modern high-speed daytime & sleeper trains): These are top-quality high-speed trains with ultra-modern air-conditioned coaches and efficient power-cars at each end. Some are high-speed 200-300km/h daytime electric trains, a few D-trains are high-quality 200km/h sleeper trains.
Z trains (high-quality express sleeper trains): The previous top-quality sleeper train, the 'Z' trains are now the second best, but still with very modern air-conditioned coaches.
T trains ('extra fast'): Trains with a 'T' in the train number are the next best category, see the photos below.
K trains ('fast'): Trains with a 'K' in the train number are 'fast'. Slightly higher fares are charged for better categories of train.
Finding & boarding your train
Always arrive at the station in plenty of time before the departure of your train.
In major cities, especially Beijing, stations can be large and busy, and it may take a while to find your train.
At major stations such as in Beijing or Shanghai there are security checks (including airline-style X-ray luggage checks) to go through before boarding.
Boarding trains in Beijing...
There are two main stations in Beijing, Beijing Main (metro Bejingzhan) and Beijing West (also called Beijing Xi or Xizhan, metro Junshibowuguan). The direct train to Hong Kong and trains to Xian, Guangzhou & Tibet all use Beijing's newer West station. The daytime and sleeper high-speed 'D' category trains from Beijing to Shanghai now use the lesser-known Beijing South station. Trans-Siberian trains to Moscow & Ulan Bator use Beijing Main, as do several remaining trains to Shanghai.
Both Beijing Main & West stations are big and hectic, and some people find them confusing. So arrive in lots of time for your train!
When you get to the station, you should first go through airport-style security controls into the departure area.
For soft sleeper travel, you must then discover the suitable waiting lounge for your train. There are a number of different waiting lounges, and the electronic message boards show which is the right one for each particular train. Tickets are checked on getting into the lounge, so you can make sure you are in the right place.
Inside the lounge, the electronic message boards show the trains departing from that lounge, for the next 24 hours. Trains are usually allotted between lounges so there is ½ hour or more between each departure from that lounge.
Most trains are proven as 'on time', but the most immediate departures are shown as 'waiting'. Once a train is prepared for boarding (normally about 30 minutes before departure) it is shown as 'check in', which means you can proceed through ticket control to the platform. About 5 minutes before departure the barrier is closed and the train is shown as 'check out'.
Luggage & bikes on Chinese trains...
You carry your bags with you onto the train, and place them on the shelves in your sleeper area. At major stations, bags may be X-rayed before boarding.
In concept at least, the luggage limit on Chinese trains is 20 Kg for adults, 10 Kg for children, and the maximum sizing of any item should not surpass 160 cm (this is reduced to 130cm on all C, D & G category high-speed trains). However, in reality no-one will weigh or measure your bags, as long as they will fit through the security X-ray machines, and provided that you can carry them all onto the train. If you really need to carry vast quantities of luggage you can pay for a baggage ticket for bags over the official limits.
Beijing Lhasa Train Pictures
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