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Shigatse Railway: Shigatse Train Routes to Lhasa, Yadong and Kathmandu

February,21 2024 BY Master Kungga Dundruk 0 COMMENTS

Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, is also a vital transfer junction connecting Tibet's central and far west to the outside world. Currently, there is one railway between Shigatse and Lhasa that opened for service in 2014, and the other two railways are still under construction or in the planning stages. One is the last section of the Tibet-Nepal railway from Shigatse to Kathmandu, and the other is a part of the China-India railway from Shigatse to Yadong.

1. Shigatse Lhasa Railway: the First High-speed Railway connecting the largest two Cities in Tibet

So far, the Lhasa Shigatse Railway is the only railway that serves Shigatse. It is the extension of the famous Qinghai-Tibet railway. Since it was opened for service in August 2014, it has been more convenient for locals to get to Lhasa from Shigatse, making it possible for tourists to travel from Xining to Shigatse directly.

Every day, there are two pairs of trains running between Lhasa and Shigatse. It takes about 2.5 hours to finish the 248 km journey from Lhasa to Shigatse.

The C series trains used in Tibet are the modern CR200J Fuxing trains adapted for the high-altitude plateau. The trains' interiors are comfortable and spacious. Power outlets and Wi-Fi are commonly available, and seats have lots of legroom.

Lhasa to Shigatse high-speed trainThe bullet train running between Lhasa and Shigatse via the Lhasa Shigatse Railway.

For the Lhasa-Shigatse train, there are four ticket options. Second-class and No Seat tickets are priced at 64 RMB, providing a cost-effective choice. Despite the relatively short duration of the train ride, having a seat significantly enhances comfort. First-class tickets are available for 103 RMB, while business-class tickets, priced at 225 RMB, offer an even more luxurious and private journey.

Lhasa to Shigatse Train Schedule

Train C885 departs from Lhasa Railway Station at 08:00 in the morning and arrives at Shigatse Railway Station at 10:21. It takes 2 hours and 21 minutes to complete the journey, with no stops along the way.

Train C887 is another non-stop train from Lhasa to Shigatse. It departs at 13:30 from Lhasa Railway Station and arrives in Shigatse at 15:50. The whole journey takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Shigatse to Lhasa Train Schedule

There are also two trains back to Lhasa from Shigatse every day. Train C886 departs from Shigatse Railway Station in the morning at 10:50 and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 13:10. The return journey takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The second train back to Lhasa from Shigatse is Train C888, which departs at 16:10 and arrives in Lhasa at 18:30.

Experience the Lhasa Shigatse Highway with an Everest Base Camp Tour

It is recommended to take an Everest Base Camp tour from Lhasa by road and return to Lhasa via a bullet train through the Lhasa-Shigatse railway. Along the scenic Sini-Nepal Friendship Highway, you can explore beautiful destinations like Lake Yamdrok, Karola Glacier, and Gyantse. On the train journey back to Lhasa, enjoy the comfort of your seat while taking in the sights along the Yarlung Zangbo River.

2. Shigatse Gyirong Railway to Kathmandu: A Future Expedition for Tibet Nepal Train Tour

Shigatse-Gyirong Railway to Kathmandu is the planned extension of the famous Qinghai-Tibet railway. Construction of the section from Shigatse to the border with Nepal at Gyirong is expected to start in 2025. According to the plan, the Shigatse Gyirong Railway will be 540km in total. The remaining section of the Tibet Nepal railway from Gyirong to Kathmandu will be 120 km.

Once the Shigatse-Kathmandu railway is finished, it will be faster and more convenient for both local people and international tourists to visit the best Himalayan regions.

Shigatse Kathmandu Train MapLhasa - Shigatse - Kathmandu Railway Map

How to Experience a Tibet Train Tour from Kathmandu Before the Railway Finished?

Currently, the most popular way to get to Tibet from Kathmandu is overland through the famous Sino-Nepal Friendship highway with a tour of Everest Base Camp. As one of the most popular overland routes in the world, the overland journey to Lhasa from Kathmandu will take you to explore the different landscapes of the Himalayas from the southern side of Nepal to the northern side in Tibet.

Tibet Nepal overland via Everest Base CampThe overland journey to Kathmandu from Lhasa via the Everest Base Camp in Tibet.

If you want to enjoy a Tibet train journey during your Tibet tour from Nepal, the traditional way is to complete your journey in Lhasa and take a Tibet train from Lhasa to one of the cities in the mainland of China.

Alternatively, there is another way to experience a Tibet train journey. You can take an overland trip to the Everest Base Camp in Tibet from Nepal. After visiting the base camp, you can take a high-speed train from Shigatse to Lhasa. This alternative allows you to shorten the classic 8-day overland tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa to just 7 days.

3. Shigatse Yadong Railway: the Planning Rail Network with India and Bhutan

In the future, there will be a third extension route of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway to South Asia. The railway from Shigatse to Yadong, a small county to the south between India and Bhutan, is just in the planning stages. It is arranged as a further extension of the Lhasa-Shigatse railway that goes southwards towards India.

Before the establishment of the Shigatse-Yadong Railway, the primary routes for you from Tibet to Bhutan or India involve transportation through Kathmandu. Options include a non-stop flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu or an epic overland journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Shigatse and Everest Base Camp. From Kathmandu, you can then proceed with your journey to Bhutan or India.

Conclusion

There are three planned railway lines in Shigatse, with only the Shigatse-Lhasa Railway currently in operation. Ticket prices for the Lhasa-Shigatse train range from 64 RMB to 225 RMB. For the latest schedule and Tibet train ticket booking, please feel free to contact us.

Looking ahead, the Shigatse-Gyirong Railway, a part of the China-Nepal railway, is set to begin construction soon, making it more convenient to travel from Tibet to Nepal by train. In the meantime, you can opt for an overland journey from Kathmandu to Shigatse and experience the high-speed train to Lhasa.

Shigatse also has plans for the Shigatse-Yadong Railway, aiming to connect Shigatse to Bhutan and India. Until it's ready, the only route to other South Asian destinations from Tibet is via Nepal.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

Kungga Dundruk, often respectfully referred to as “Manager Kunga”, is the most revered and legendary Tibetan guide in our team.

Currently working as a customer service manager in Lhasa, Kunga used to study business overseas and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland. With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

As a legendary Tibetan guide with 22 years of guide experience, Kunga was awarded the Gold Medalist of China’s Best Tour Guide in 2019, marking the pinnacle of his career. Today, Kunga loves sharing his wealth of Tibetan knowledge through travel articles and stands ready to offer prompt support whenever our guests need help in Lhasa.

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