Great Train Journeys: The Qinghai-Tibet Railway

The ‘Sky Road’ runs 1956 kilometres across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau connecting Chinese Xining with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.  As the world’s highest railway, reaching a literally breathtaking 5231 metres at the Tanggula Pass, this incredible engineering success spans an area known for earthquakes, low atmospheric pressure and freezing temperatures.

Xining to Lhasa Railway
Xining to Lhasa Railway

The line opened in 2006, after engineers battled permafrost, low-oxygen levels and a very sensitive eco-system. At peak times, up to 1000 passengers board the train for this magnificent journey. Of course many tourists use this route; brimming with heightened anticipation for the fluttering prayer flags, golden temples, chanting monks and endlessly photogenic landscape of Tibet.

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