Lhasa – Shigatse Railway

The Lhasa–Xigazê(Shigatse) railway, or La’ri railway (拉日铁路), is a high-elevation railway that connects Lhasa to Xigazê, in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Lhasa-Shigatse Railway is the extend line of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The travel time between Lhasa and Xigazê on this line is roughly three hours. A 253 km line from Lhasa west to Xigaze was formally opened on August 15, 2014, with the first passenger train scheduled to run the following day. The new line have reduced the journey time between Lhasa and second largest city to 3h by train.

Why Was Lhasa-Xigazê Railway Built

The line was a spur line of the Qinghai–Tibet railway. The length of the railway is 253 km (157 mi). The construction of Lhasa–Xigazê railway began in September 2010 and was connected to the Qinghai–Tibet Railway in May 2013. The line was completed in July 2014 and opened for commercial operations on August 16, 2014. Soon after opening, the line became the primary mode of transport between Lhasa and Xigazê; the two destinations were previously only connected by road and air, and air travel was inaccessible at the time to the large majority of local residents. Since the establishment of Lhasa-Xigazê Railway, it has made great contribution to the people in Lhasa–Xigazê.

Main Stations on Lhasa-Xigazê Railway

There are about 14 stations on Lhasa-Xigazê Railway. Although, most of them are unknown, they play an important role in traffic. After the completion of Lhasa-Xigazê Railway, it is close to the border with Sikkim, India. These stations are:

  • Lhasa railway station (拉萨)
  • Lhasa South railway station (拉萨南)
  • Baide railway station (白德)
  • Xierong railway station (协荣)
  • Qüxü County railway station (曲水县)
  • Chabala railway station (茶巴拉)
  • Nyêmo railway station (尼木)
  • Karu railway station (卡如)
  • Rinbung railway station (仁布)
  • Dazhuka railway station (大竹卡)
  • Denggu railway station (灯古)
  • Jiqiong railway station (吉琼)
  • Kadui railway station (卡堆)
  • Xigazê railway station (日喀则)

Basic Information of Lhasa – Xigazê Railway

  •  Open Date: August 16th, 2014
  • Span: 154 miles (248 km)
  • Speed: 75 mi/h (120 km/h)
  • Travel Time: about 3 hours

Scenic Railway Route

Along Lhasa-Xigazê Railway, passengers will feel they are traveling in the beautiful heaven due to the breathless sceneries. They can look up Lhasa River, the Yarlung Tsangpo River Canyon in short distance. Passengers will pass through Nimu County– the home of melons and fruits, Renbu County rich in mineral resources. Of course, it is the paradise for birds along the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway. In Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, there are clear lakes, ancient temples,  beautiful grasslands. Passengers can be washed by the unique culture and customs. There are famous attractions, such as Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest,  Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Natang Monastery.

Characters of Lhasa – Xigazê Railway

  • It is an railway at the altitude of 3,600-4,000m. All the trains through the railway are equipped with oxygen generators. Meanwhile, the glass of trains is uvioresistant.
  • It is a challenge for construction staff due to passing through high geothermal energy territory. Of course, environment protection is another challenge. Finally, they succeeded.
  • It is the China’s most expensive railway due to the uses of tunnels and environment protection requirements.