Inside Tibet Train

  • by Apple
  • Last Updated: 2020-02-10

Tibet Train refers to trains from Xining City, Qinghai Province to Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region. At present, there're Tibet trains departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Lanzhou to Lhasa. Comparing with ordinary trains, Tibet trains are more humanized and better adaptable to the weather of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Eg. There's an electronic board in every car for real-time notifying passengers the temperature inside and outside of the train, the speed, the oxygen content of the air, and the altitude, etc. After the train enters the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the oxygen content gets lower, the ultraviolet rays become intensely, and the sandstorm gets stronger outside of the train. So the trains on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway use double-glazed windows and anti-ultraviolet screen protectors to keep passengers comfortable.

Usually, there're 16 cars in a train, 2 soft-sleeper cars and 8 hard-sleeper cars. Besides those, the remainings are hard seats and Dining cars. 

Soft-Sleeper & Hard-Sleeper Berth

There are three types of coaches on the Tibet train. Since the journey is really long, most foreign travelers prefer soft-sleepers.

*First Class:   Soft-Sleeper Berth
*Second Class: Hard-Sleeper Berth 
*Third Class:  Hard-Seat 

Inside look of the soft-sleeper cabin.

Soft-Sleeper Berth of Tibet Train

The Soft-Sleeper Berth is the best coach of Tibet Train. Four-bed soft sleeper berths (软卧, ruan wo) come with individual TVs, doors that close and lock, full-length mirror, independent luggage storage space, and coat rack.

On each train, there are usually two soft-sleeper cars. There are 11 Soft-Sleeper Berth compartments in a car on Tibet train. 4 berths in each compartment, two uppers and two lower. Soft-sleeper is comfortable and soft. It's about 88 soft-sleeper berths for passengers. The soft-sleeper is always in huge demand so you are suggested to book it through a travel agency and make your booking earlier.

Inside look of the hard-sleeper cabin.

Hard-Sleeper Berth of Tibet Train

The Hard-Sleeper Berth is the second class coach of Tibet Train. Hard-sleeper berth(硬卧, ying wo) carriages are made up of doorless six-berth compartments with bunks in three tiers, with sheets, pillows, and blankets provided. 

There are 11 Hard-Sleeper Berth compartments in a car on Tibet train.  6 berths in each compartment, two uppers, two middle and two lower. 66 passengers for a car. On each train, there are 8 hard-sleeper cars. It is about 550 hard sleeper berths in one train, so the tickets are relatively easier to be reserved. The hard sleeper berth is not a hardboard like its name, it still acceptable.

Toilet in Tibet Train

There are toilets available at each of the car in the Tibet Train. On one side is an Asian toilet and on the other Western toilet. Overall they are kept clean but toilet paper is not available.

There are neat sink areas in the Tibet train. The attendants always keep the sink areas reasonably clean. Each sink area is equipped with three sinks that have the push type water faucet. The sink areas are always busy in the morning because it is shared by 32 people. It is better to buy a towel at a supermarket before you get on the train for there are no toiletries on Tibet train. 

Newly equipped toilet on Tibet Train.

Dining Car in Tibet Train

A general cookhouse next to the first-class soft-berth sleeper is equipped with each Tibet train. The dining car in Tibet train provides three meals a day for passengers on board. Besides the kitchen, there is tables and seat available in the dining area for you to enjoy the food as well as the view along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. During non-meal service time, you will be required to buy at least one beverage to sit in the dining car of Tibet train. Meals provided on the train are usually about twice the price than anywhere else in China, and not as nice.

For breakfast, passengers will be served with porridge, pickles, eggs, bread, and milk, which is about CNY 20 or so. Those who are in favor of noodles could choose from Snow Vegetable Noodle, Beef Noodle, and Steak Noodle.etc. 

For lunch and dinner, Tibetan style dishes are the most popular with passengers on the Tibet train. Among all train meals, there are 55 cold dishes, 8 Tibetan dishes, 32 ordinary dishes and 8 soup dishes. Usually abt CNY 30 or so per dish. Also, there is a meal cart pushed throughout the train by attendants during mealtime, selling Chinese-style bento for about CNY 20.

Customers will have more choices in dinning car.

You can order Chinese food and Tibetan food in dinning car.

Air-conditioning System in Tibet Train

All the Tibet trains are air-conditioned and pressurized, for the Tibet trains pass through the mountain areas of high altitude. The Air-conditioning System in the Tibet trains can keep the temperature on the train at a comfortable level so that passengers can enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the world's highest railway in a cozy environment. Of course, the other facilities, such as the Oxygen supply system and the pressurizer also contribute to this comfortable environment.

Medical Service in Tibet Train

Tibet Trains provide passengers with temporary medical services. Professional doctors and trained nurses are also available on Tibet trains. Passengers can get timely but limited first aid in a Tibet train. 

If you suffer from high altitude sickness, you can ask the train attendant for help. The trained attendant will help you connect the oxygen tube to the oxygen outlet for you to inhale oxygen.

At the time of writing, two oxygen supply systems have been used on Tibet trains: diffusion oxygen and pipe oxygen. One is used for increasing the oxygen content inside the train when the train to Lhasa is driven into the plateau zone. The other is directly used by passengers through the independent port. There are oxygen supply tubes and mask on each cabin for an emergency.

When Tibet Train heads its way up to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Zone, Oxygen begins to emit to the whole cabin by temperature and air pressure controlling system, it mostly releases the difficulty of traveling at such a high altitude, like a headache, out of breath inside Oxygen filled cabins. The altitude, temperature, driving speed are shown in each cabin as well.

Private Oxygen masks are provided to every passenger whatever tickets you have. In sleeping berth car, you can find the Oxygen Supply tubes and mask on each cabin for an emergency.

The air pressure inside the train is automatically controlled to make you feel as traveling in low altitude zone. More than these conveniences, the glass window of Tibet Train is designed to anti-ultraviolet rays.

In conclusion, Tibet Train is such a train full of caring, known as the best Train exploring on the roof of the word.

Oxygen tubes can reach every berth of the Tibet Train.

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