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Xining to Lhasa Train

July,08 2019 BY Derek Wong 0 COMMENTS

Though there are trains bound for Lhasa from Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu, the genuine Qinghai-Tibet train starts from Xining, Qinghai province with 1960 km in total. It takes approximately one day (or 20:55 hour ride) from Xining to Lhasa. Each year there are around one quarter of tourists who may take train to Lhasa from Xining.

Xining - Lhasa Train Schedule & Tickets Online Booking (2019 & 2020)

Xining to Lhasa Train Map
Train NumberDepartureArrivalDurationDistanceFrequencyTicket Price
Z6801(Xining-Lhasa) 14:01 12:20 21:19 Hours 1,972km daily ¥495
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper
Z6802(Lhasa-Xining) 09:00 06:43 21:43 Hours daily ¥495
Hard sleeper
Soft sleeper

*Note:Due to the development of railway system and an increase of train speed, the duration was shortened by the end of 2017.The actual arrival and departure time of train, please refer to the information on your ticket, or consult your travel consultant.

About ticket price:
The ticket prices above are the net price. In reality, since the demand for Tibet train ticket far exceeds the supply, to successfully book the train ticket for you, an additional service fee is involved. However, we will manage to secure the ticket and ensure you a seamless Tibet train journey.

Tibet Train Tickets Online Booking:

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Most Classic Xining Tibet Tour by Train (3 sample itineraries)

Altitude Map of Xining-Lhasa Train
Xining to Lhasa Railway Map

The benefits of Xining-Lhasa train route are as fiollowings:

Quickest Railway access to Lhasa
Xining is the initial train station of Qinghai-Tibet train closest to Lhasa. The entire train ride only takes one day and tourists get on the train and the next day they will be on Qinghai-Tibet plateau, enjoying the breathtaking scenery through the window of the train.

High Transportation Capacity
There are over 3 trains bound for Lhasa from Xining each day, bringing more than a thousand tourists to Lhasa on a daily basis. Its transportation capacity is three times than that of Beijing-Lhasa or Shanghai-Lhasa train. The peak season of Qinghai-Tibet train comes in summer. At that time, the train ticket could be hard to buy. Yet, if tourists can start their journey from Xining instead of Beijing or Shanghai to Lhasa, it can be much easier to buy Qinghai-Tibet train tickets.

Xining-Lhasa Train Schedule (2019 & 2020)

Train Number
every other day
every other day


Basically, there are 8 trains bound for Lhasa. Yet, there are only 2 trains that start directly from Xining to Lhasa, i.e. Z6801 and K9811. Besides, the K9811 is a seasonal train that usually runs at night. 

For better scenery,Tibet Vista recommends tourists taking K9811 and Z164 because tourists can board the train and sleep on the train. The next day as tourists open their eye, the train is exactly crossing Golmud, and touristis can enjoy Qarhan Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in China  and endless grotesquely-shaped salt flowers and unusual salt lake surroundings. In addition, as the initial station of T265 is Quangzhou, the train itself should be comparatively less crowded.

To get train tickets much easier, Tibet Vista suggest tourists taking trains like Z6801, K9811 and Z917. Yet. There is no guarantee in summer when Tibet tourism reaches it peak season.

Altitude Map of Xining to Lhasa Train

Xining - Lhasa Train Railway Map Altitude Map
Xining to Lhasa Train Ride Altitude Map

Xining to Lhasa Railway, measuring 1960 km, starts from Xining(2295m) to Lhasa (3560m). This railway with the highest altitude around the world reaches its highest altitude at Tanggula Pass and the entire railway line is built over 4500m. It is known that high altitude may trigger physical discomfort such as headache, dizziness and other altitude sickness symptoms. Yet, this specially-built train is equipped with oxygen supply system that will automatic release oxygen into the carriage to minimize altitude sickness

Booking the Xining to Lhasa Train Tickets

To individual tourists, the best solution is to contact a reliable travel agency and book the Beijing-Lhasa train ticket at least one month in advance.Tibet Vista can provide such timely tickets booking service, and also offer “Train Ticket + Tibet Tour” packages. 

Send a detailed booking inquiry to Tibet Vista

Board the Train in Xining West Railway Station

Xining train station is a hub of great importance connecting Qinghai-Tibet train, sending more than half of passengers who use Qinghai-Tibet railway. Its was relocated to Xining West Tran Station in march, 2011.

xining railway station

Xining Railway Station
Address : Jiangguo Road, Chengdong District, Xining
Phone: 0971-9510510;0971-12306
Ticket Booking Hotline: 12306
Distance from Airport: appro. 31km,39mins
Bus to There: No.11, No.16, No.1, No.20, No.22, No.27, No.28, No.29, No.35, No.40, No.5,etc.

Bus Ride to Train Station from Xining Downtown - 40 minutes to 1.5 hours
The bus ride normally takes an hour or so to reach Xining West Train Station. Since the train station is far away from the downtown of Xining, formal hotels can hardly be found around the train station. For accommodation , it is advisable to stay in hotels in downtown of Xining and take bus to the train station. Most importantly, foreign tourists have to have Tibet Entry Permit to travel to Tibet. If one takes a taxi, it cost no more than 20 RMB from downtown to Xining West Train Station.

Airport to Train Station by Taxi - 27.7 Km

xining caojiabao airport to xining train station map

From Xining Caojiabao Airport to Xining Train Station by taxi

If a tourist arrives in Xining airport and wants to go to Xining airport, he/she may take 3rd special bus lines to Xining train station directly. It takes about an hour and 20 mins. Of course, if you prefer a taxi, it may cost 80 RMB via the express way but it takes around 35 minutes.


- Xining West Railway Station provides luggage storage service for passengers, it costs 5-10 CNY for each piece, according to the size of yor luggage.

- Foreign tourists who take train to Tibet from Xining, must have Tibet Travel Permit, and are required to print two copies of Tibet travel permit and give one to rail station when checking in. 

- All visitors must go through the X-ray baggage scanning and security. See Tibet Train Luggage Allowed and Forbidden

- Xining West railway station is far away from downtown, there is no hotels, cafes and other rest areas nearby.

Xining to Lhasa Train 
Train to Lhasa from Xining

Well-Equipped Xining to Lhasa Train

In order to ensure that the trains run on the high plateau safely, and that passengers travel on-board comfortably, Xining to Lhasa Train is well-designed taking into account the conditions faced - high elevation, low temperature, lack of oxygen, harsh climate, etc. In a word, the trains to Tibet are pressurized like aircraft, and are the best in China.

Oxygen supply

Air-conditioning alone is not sufficient to make a cozy environment on the train to Tibet. The Oxygen supply is the key element to ensure passengers' comfort and safety. There are two oxygen-supply systems on each train. One is used for increasing the oxygen level in the train, by temperature and air pressure controlling systems, when the train enters into the plateau zone. The other is directly used by passengers through an independent port. There are oxygen supply tubes and masks in each cabin for emergencies. Private oxygen masks are provided to every passenger, whatever ticket they have. In sleeping berth cars, you can find outlets on the wall beside the windows, while in seat cars, you can find outlets under your seat.

Cars and Facilities

Each train to Tibet consists of two first-class sleeper cars, eight second-class sleeper cars, four seat cars, one dining car and one generator car. 

For more information about the Train, check :  Life on board - Tibet Train


Soft Sleeper Berth of Xining to Lhasa Train
Comfortable Soft Sleeping Berth Private Compartment

Resturant Car on Xining to Lhasa Train

Alternative for the Shortage of Beijing-Lhasa Train Tickets during High Season (July---August)

The peak travel season of Qinghai-Tibet Railway normally comes during summer holiday ( July—August). By then, the demand for soft sleeper tickets will far exceed the actual supply, approximately over 1000% as it can offer. Sadly, Beijing railway station can only meet 10% of tourists’ needs.

To secure your travel, we suggest a viable alternative plan:
Instead of taking non-stop train from Beijing to Lhasa, you can fly from Beijing to Xining (or Lanzhou) and then get train ticket from Xining (or Lanzhou) to Lhasa. And this alternative plan would cost extra 250 US Dollars, per person.

Fly from Beijing to Xining (or Lanzhou) and Transfer To Lhasa by Train 

 beijing xining lhasa travel route
2 hours flight plus a 21hours train journey will make this trip easier to organize.

Alternative Beijing-Lhasa Travel Route Makes Sense in Three Aspects:

a.It can shorten tourists’ time on the train, because it only takes 21 hours from Xining to Lhasa. Tourists can save 20hours of long and tiring train journey, roughly half way of Beijing-Lhasa train route. And then you continue to head to Lhasa from Xining Railway Station, the essence and beginning of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

b.It can secure your train journey. There are many trains departing from Xining to Lhasa. As a result, it can ensure that visitors will be able to get on board successfully and can minimize the risk of failing to buy ticket from Beijing.

c.The trains bound to Lhasa from Xining normally start from late afternoon. It enables visitors to have longer time to enjoy the scenery from Golmud to Lhasa. Otherwise, if one departs from Beijing, he or she only has several hours to enjoy the scenery, because the time train arrives in Golmud is at night, at around 22:15.

Tips: If the original plan of buying non-stop train from Beijing is insisted, Tibet Vista cannot ensure 100% of buying the ticket because of the shortage of Beijing-Lhasa train tickets from Beijing railway station. As a result, you may face changing date or degrading to hard sleeping berth, even fail to travel to Tibet. Therefore, the above alternative plan is highly recommended and workable during high season. We feel very sorry for the extra 250 US dollars. Hopefully, you can accept our suggestion and choose a more secured way of travel.

Of course, you can choose to stay in Xining for a couple of days and travel in Xining. Xining is a well-known attraction in Tibetan region. Xining has many attractions: such as Kumbum Monastery, the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism-Lama Tsongkhapa (one of the six prestigious monasteries in Tibet) and Qinghai Lake, the largest inland lake. If you are interested in staying in Xining, you can consult our travel consultants.

Derek Wong

About the Author - Derek Wong

Mr. Derek Wong is sales manager of Tibet Vista Tour as well as designer of Tibet Vista websites and has been providing specialized travel services to Tibet Vista travelers for years. He has continued to hone his professional expertise by completing numerous travel specialist courses to China and Tibet and Nepal and Bhutan.

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