Qinghai Tibet Railway

Qinghai Tibet Railway

  • Region : Asia
  • Type : Deluxe Trains
  • Traveller Interest : Panoramic Vistas
  • Introduction / History
  • Accommodation
  • Dining / Lounge

The "Sky Train", "Lhasa Express", "Rocket to the rooftop of the world", "World's highest railway"; regardless of what it is called, the Qinghai – Tibet train is truly an engineering wonder. The world's highest railway, Qinghai Tibet Railway extends 1,956 kilometers from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa. Nearly half of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway lies more than 4,000 meters above sea level and about 550 kilometers of this railway is laid on frozen earth.

Scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet railway is stunningly beautiful, with vast grasslands, crystal clear alpine lakes, deep gorges, snow-capped mountains and much more. To provide travelers a better opportunity to enjoy the stunningly beautiful scenery on the way, scenery viewing platforms have been set up at nine stations with a 15 minute stop at each station.

 The journey also offers some record-breakers: the world's highest passenger railroad (at Tanggula Pass - elevation: 16,640 ft.; 5072m) and the world's highest railroad tunnel (Fenghuoshan - elevation: 16,093 ft.; 4905m). The train is equipped with 2 Oxygen sources in case you feel light headed. 

There are three types of coaches on the Qinghai–Tibet Railway: the first class soft-berth sleeper, the second class soft-berth sleeper and soft seat coaches.

The second class soft-berth sleeper is also known as hard sleeper, although both the soft sleeper and hard sleeper are soft and comfortable. The main difference between soft sleeper and hard sleeper is that in hard sleeper, the compartment has 6 beds with 3 levels while the soft sleeper has 4 beds with 2 levels. Moreover, the hard sleeper does not have a door in the compartment, which can make it noisy at times.  It just provides basic beds and quilts.

The soft sleeper, the best on the train, has a television, a full-length mirror, independent luggage storage space, a coat rack and the door can be locked. There are only 64 such berths, hence get sold out faster.

The soft seat coaches are like airline seats.

There are two toilets available at the end of each car. On one side is an Asian toilet and on the other side is a Western toilet. In general, they are kept clean and toilet paper is available.

The totally-closed Tibet train is equipped with air-conditioning, supercharging system, oxygen supply, altitude display as well as other advanced facilities.


Meals on board the train are not included in the ticket price. The train has a dining car and offers passengers 3 meals a day. There are also tables and seats for those who would like to appreciate the spectacular scenery outside the train window while enjoying their food. At non-meal times, beer and tea are also available for purchase. TIP: We do recommend that you carry your own food on board the train. The quality of food is average and is a tad expensive.