Sichuan-Tibet Railway

The Sichuan–Tibet Railway, Sichuan–Xizang Railway or Chuanzang Railway (川藏铁路) is a high-elevation railway that will connect Chengdu to Lhasa. 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. The Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from Chengdu South Railway Station in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and passes through Shuangliu District-Xinjin County(Chengdu)-Pengshan District-Dongpo District(Mengshan City)-Pujiang County(Chengdu)-Ya’an City-Luding County-Kangding City-Yajiang County-Litang County-Baiyu County-Jiangda County-Qamdo City-Bangda Town(Basu County)-Basu County-Bomi County-Nyingchi City-Mainling County-Nang County-Shannan City-Gonggar County, arrived in the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa, with a total length of 1,629 kilometers and a designed speed of 200km/h, the Harmony CRH5 electric EMU will be put into operation on the Sichuan-Tibet Railway. After the completion, the EMU trains from Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an and Guiyang to Lhasa will only need 10 -13 hours.

Why is Sichuan-Tibet Railway Built

  • The economic development and personnel exchanges between the Kangding area of Sichuan Province and the Lhasa-Nyingchi Belt of Tibet have been severely constrained by the low-level and difficult risks of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway.
  • The railway will completely change the backward transportation conditions of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qamdo City, Nyingchi City and Shannan City.
  • The Sichuan-Tibet Railway is one of the five railways in the “Sky Road” or “Tibet Route” (the other four are the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Yunnan-Tibet Railway, the Xinjiang-Tibet Railway, and the Gansu-Tibet Railway). After the completion of the project, Sichuan Province has unimpeded in the four seasons, while the highway has seasonal restrictions and the aircraft has climate restrictions.
  • The Sichuan-Tibet Railway will benefit from technological innovation and will accelerate to 200 km/h. That is to say, after the completion of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, it will take only 8 hours from Chengdu to Lhasa in the future.

Once completed, Sichuan-Tibet Railway will greatly accelerate the cultural exchange, economic development, natural sightseeing between Tibet and the inland.

Basic Information

  • Name: Sichuan-Tibet Railway, Sichuan–Xizang Railway, Chuanzang Railway (川藏铁路)
  • Starting and Terminal: Chengdu West Railway Station-Lhasa Railway Station
  • Construction Date: 2014
  • Completion Date: 2030
  • Distance: 1,629 kilometers (1,012 miles)
  • Designed Operating Speed: 160-200 km/h

Four Sections of Sichuan-Tibet Railway

1. Chengdu–Ya’an segment

The Chengdu to Ya’an segment began at Chengdu West Station where it branches off from the Chengdu–Pujiang intercity railway. The 94 km (58 mi) segment was electrified, double tracked, and has a design speed of 200 km/h. It opened to traffic on 28 December 2018.

2. Ya’an–Kangding segment

The Ya’an to Kangding segment is under construction as of 2017. The 193 km segment will be electrified and has a designed speed of 160 km/h.

3. Kangding–Nyingchi segment

The Kangding to Nyingchi segment began construction in 2018. The 1.000 km segment will be electrified and has a designed speed of 160 km/h. The route is expected to roughly parallel that of China National Highway 318. As this section contains some of the roughest terrain on the railway, construction from Kanding to Nyincghi is expected to last seven years.

4. Nyingchi–Lhasa segment

The Nyingchi to Lhasa segment was approved on 31 October 2014 and is currently under construction. The 434 km (270 mi) segment has a designed speed of 160 km/h; and, 32 km (20 mi) shared with the Lhasa–Xigazê railway from Lhasa to Xierong will be electrified. It is scheduled to open in 2021.