Railways to Tibet

At present, there is only one railway connecting Tibet: Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the longest and highest railway built atop a plateau, which is China’s first railroad to Tibet. Several rails are under construction or planed such as Sichuan-Tibet Rail, Yunnan-Tibet Rail, etc. However, in the peak season from May to October, it is difficult to get train tickets to Tibet due to the great demand. 

1. Qinghai-Tibet Railway

The Qinghai–Tibet railway or Qingzang railway is a high-elevation railway that connects Xining of Qinghai Province to Lhasa of Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It is the longest and highest railway built atop a plateau, which is China’s first railroad to Tibet. The world engineering wonder has created 9 extraordinary world records: the highest railway – 5072m, highest railway station – 5072m, the longest plateau railway -1976kkm, longest rail bridge – 11.7km, longest plateau tunnel in permafrost – 1686m, etc. More about Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

2. Sichuan-Tibet Railway

The Sichuan–Tibet railway, Sichuan–Xizang railway or Chuanzang railway is a high-elevation railway that will connect Chengdu to Lhasa, in Tibet AR. The line will be 1,629 km (1,012 mi) long and is projected to cost 105 billion yuan (16 billion USD). Construction from both ends commenced in 2014 and the line is expected to be completed around 2025. It includes four sections: Chengdu–Ya’an section, Ya’an–Kangding, Kangding–Nyingchi, and Nyingchi–Lhasa. More about Sichuan-Tibet Railway

3. Yunnan-Tibet Railway

Yunnan Tibet Railway is the third railway to Tibet after Qinghai-Tibet Railway and Sichuan Tibet Railway, acting as an important link between central-western Yunnan and southeast Tibet. Now some important sections are still under construction and to be built in future. Totally, five sections are included in Yunnan Tibet Railway: Kunming Dali railway, Dali Lijiang Railway, Lijiang-Shangri-La Railway, Shangri-La-Nyingchi Railway and Nyingchi Lhasa Railway. At present, 164 kilometer of Yunnan Tibet Railway was completed, about 161 kilometers are under construction and 300 kilometers are to be built subsequently. More about Yunnan-Tibet Railway.

4. Xinjiang-Tibet Railway

The Xinzang railway is a proposed railway that connects Hotan, Xinjiang and Shigatse, Tibet. It is one of three planned railways to Tibet in the Mid-to-Long Term Railway Network Plan (revised in 2008), the other two are Sichuan–Tibet Railway and Yunnan–Tibet Railway. More about Xinjiang-Tibet Railway.

5. Gansu-Tibet Railway

Gansu-Tibet Railway is a proposed railway from Lanzhou in Gansu province to Lhasa in Tibet. It starts from Lanzhou of Gansu province, and goes through Maqin and Yushu of Qinghai province to Lhasa, Tibet.