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Trains Running Between Shanghai and Lhasa

Fast Facts

Since October 1, 2006, the T164/165 and T166/163 have been on run, linking Shanghai City and Lhasa City in 48 hours and 36 minutes. There is one train departing every day from Shanghai Railway Station and Lhasa Railway Station at a fixed time and at a maximum speed of 120 km/h. On the sections between Baoji City and Lhasa City, the maximum speed is about 80 km/h due to the high altitude and many tunnels.

Along the way, the train will pass through several stations, including Wuxi, Nanjing, Bangbu, Zhengzhou, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Xining West, Golmud and Nagqu. Passengers can get on the train at any of the above stations.

Design, Facilities and Services

There are fifteen carriages in total in the train; eight for 407 hard sleepers, four for 392 hard seats, two for 64 soft sleepers and one for dining. Between Xining West and Lhasa, an additional car for an air-conditioner generator will be added. There are 592 train tickets sold at Shanghai Railway Station.

The train is designed in Tibetan style, a style that can be seen everywhere in such features as the Tibetan lotus-shaped mirrors in the washrooms. Information on the train are all in Chinese, Tibetan and English. The various cars, equipment and even the staff uniform are designed in typical Tibetan colors. Signs are located in many places on the train for clear direction. There is even a cabin for passengers to get changed, and one for nursing.

The train also offers simple Tibetan language learning by radio. When the train is running between Golmud and Lhasa, there are lip pomade, sunglasses and sun blocks for sale and mini-telescopes for sightseeing for rent. Before passing a landmark, the staff will inform passengers in advance and give a short explanation.

Additionally, the train offers a 24-hour dining service and the buffets are provided with both Tibetan meals and Shanghai dishes. There are up to 100 choices, which change according to the season.

Train Schedule, Seats and Ticket Prices

The T164/165 departs from Shanghai for Lhasa, and the T163/166 is taken for the return trip from Lhasa Railway Station to Shanghai Railway Station.

Tickets can be purchased ten days ahead of the departure date. Foreigners need to buy train tickets with their passports. Note that foreigners also need to present their Tibet Travel Permit when boarding the train to Lhasa at Shanghai Railway Station.

In Shanghai, passengers can buy tickets in ticket offices in the city or go to the ticket booth window at Shanghai Railway Station. In Lhasa, besides Lhasa Railway Station, one can also go to the ticket office at the Tourism Bureau near the Potala Palace to buy tickets at an extra cost of 5 Yuan. Booking tickets through a reliable travel agent will be much easier for foreigners, considering the language barrier and especially if you want to take the rare soft sleepers.

Train No. Terminals Departure Time → Arrival Time Travel Time Seats Ticket Prices
T164/T165 Shanghai Railway Station → Lhasa Railway Station 19:36 → 20:15 48 hours and 39 minutes Hard Seat/Hard Sleeper (upper/middle/lower)/ Soft Sleeper (upper/lower) 402.5 Yuan/793.5 Yuan/817.5 Yuan/841.5 Yuan/1,262.5 Yuan/1,310.5 Yuan
T166/163 11:30 → 11:25 47 hours 55 minutes

T164/165 Stops T166/163
Train No. Distance (km) Day Arr. Time Dep. Time Arr. Time Dep. Time Day Distance Train No.
T164 0 1 -- 19:36 Shanghai 11:25 -- 2 4,373 T163
T164 / 1 20:38 20:42 Wuxi 10:13 10:17 2 4,247 T163
T164 301 1 22:05 22:16 Nanjing 08:46 08:55 2 4,072 T163
T164 485 1 23:47 00:05 Bangbu 07:12 07:16 2 3,888 T163
T165 649 2 01:22 01:28 Xuzhou 05:45 05:51 2 3,724 T166
T165 998 2 04:14 04:20 Zhengzhou 02:45 02:57 2 3,275 T166
T165 1,509 2 10:09 10:17 Xian 20:49 20:58 1 2,864 T166
T165 2,185 2 16:47 17:02 Lanzhou 12:57 13:12 1 2,188 T166
T165 2,401 2 19:55 20:15 Xining West 10:07 10:27 1 1,972 T166
T165 3,231 2 05:39 05:59 Golmud 00:31 00:51 1 1,142 T166
T165 4,051 2 15:38 16:05 Nagqu 14:55 15:01 1 322 T166
T165 4,373 2 20:15 -- Lhasa -- 11:30 1 0 T166