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The Qinghai-Tibet Railway


The Qinghai-Tibet Railway Megan Inman & Lincoln Schroth

Railroad to the Sky:

Reaching a maximum altitude of just over 5,000m, the Qinghai-Tibet railway passenger carriages pump oxygen inside compartments and have UV filters on the windows to cut the glare in the thin air.

The track links Lhasa to the existing network of railroad tracks in China. Now passengers can depart Beijing by rail and arrive in Lhasa 48 hours later.

World's Highest Railroad:

  • 960km tracks are above 4,000m
  • highest point is Tanggula Mountain Pass at 16,630 feet (5,072m). This is 200m higher than the Peruvian railroad in the Andes, former title holder of the world's highest railroad.


The route links Lhasa with Golmud and Xining, Qinghai Province, and existing China rail network.


  • Max 100km/hour on frozen earth
  • Max 120km/hour on un-frozen earth


Passengers have a choice between a soft sleeper (with four berths to a room) and hard sleepers (with six berths to a room). There are also less expensive seats. Quicklink: Booking Train Tickets in China

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