The train from Chongqing to Lhasa leaves every other day, which takes about 34 hours at present, shortened by more than 6 hours compared with that when it was put into operation for the first time in 2006, benefiting from the opening of the Lanzhou-Chongqing Railway from Chongqing to Lanzhou. And the time will be further shortened in the future when the Sichuan-Tibet Railway from east to west to Chengdu is opened.
It should be noted that the train to Tibet departing originally from Chongqing North Railway Station in 2006 since its opening has been changed to depart from Chongqing South Railway Station since July 10, 2019. This article will mainly introduce relevant information of Chongqing West Railway Station and the guideline for taking Qinghai-Tibet trains.
Chongqing West Railway Station was built in December 2014 and put into operation in January 2018. It is located in Shapingba District, the western suburb of Chongqing City, a little far from the urban area.
In the past, the place for buying tickets and the place for taking trains of most stations in mainland China were separated from each other. Passengers had to to go inside and outside of the station for several times to get tickets and then take trains. Nowadays, most newly designed railway stations concentrate all functional zones related to railway station supporting in a comprehensive building, with which passengers’ various needs can be addressed in station, without shuttling in several outdoor buildings.
The newly designed station is spacious and bright, and there are obvious changes in both the platform area and waiting area. It is worth noting that Chongqing West Railway Station is located in a remote area, relevant supporting facilities are under gradual improvement and the traffic conditions are changing.
Chongqing West Railway Station is an integrated building with large area, as well as diverse and perfect functional zones, which has reached the service level and scale of large airport terminal building.
In station, there would basically be one area with many convenience stores, ordinary restaurants, fast food restaurants, etc. Chongqing West Railway Station mainly has two ground layers, with the interlayer on both sides being commercial district occupied by many gift shops, convenience stores, catering stores and travel agencies.
At present, Chongqing West Railway Station has been put into operation for only a short time, and related businesses are still under further improvement and development, but it can basically meet passengers’ food and beverage demands.
Chongqing West Railway Station is located in a remote area, so there are not many hotels nearby. But since the train from Chongqing West Station to Lhasa leaves at 22:12 p.m., passengers can choose to live in a more prosperous and convenient downtown area where they can get to the Station directly after checking out and dinner in the afternoon.
Chongqing West Station is located in the western suburb of Chongqing, while Chongqing International Airport located in the northern suburb, about 45km away from Chongqing West Railway Station. There is no direct subway between the two at present, but Shuttle Bus K06 can take you to Chongqing West Railway Station, which takes about 2.5 hours. Besides, you can also get there by taxi, which takes about 1.5 hours, but the cost may be a little high.
[Kind Reminder] Please do not go directly to Chongqing West Railway Station to take a train to Tibet on the same day as arriving at Chongqing Airport, because the traffic is not so convenient and it takes too long time, which would make you very tired. It is better for you to go to Tibet by train after a short stay in Chongqing for 1-2 days.
By the time the article was published (July 2019), there’s no subway lines opened for Chongqing West Railway Station for the time being, but such subway lines are already under planning and construction.
There are shuttle buses from main scenic spots and other railway stations in Chongqing to Chongqing West Railway Station. Travelers who want to save cost can choose to take these buses to Chongqing West Railway Station.
For travelers with many luggages, taking a taxi to Chongqing West Railway Station is the most convenient and trouble-saving way. Since the train leaves at 22 p.m. and the new Railway Station is large, passengers who are unfamiliar with the Station may lose their way and fail to catch the train, it is advisable for passengers to arrive at the Station before 20 p.m. Arrive at the Railway Station early to avoid delays and losses.
Chinese travelers from Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Region with the Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents can collect tickets from self-service ticket machines and manual ticketing windows in the ticketing office by showing the Mainland Travel Permit Hong Kong and Macao Residents.
Chinese travelers from Taiwan with the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents can only collect tickets from manual ticketing windows by showing the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents and Tibet Travel Permit when collecting tickets.
Foreign travelers with foreign passports can only collect tickets from manual ticketing windows by showing the passport, Chinese visa and Tibet Travel Permit when collecting tickets.
After collecting the train ticket, you are supposed to go to the waiting hall to wait for the train. But before that, you should have your ticket examined at the gate and your luggage checked by the security machine, during which you should cooperate with the security check and show the Tibet Travel Permit if required.
After you and your luggage pass the security check, you can take an elevator to the second floor to wait for the train. Each train has a different waiting area and the display screen between the two elevators will display the train number and ticket gate.
The check-in will begin 15-30 minutes before the train leaves. At present, advanced automatic check-in system is widely used in mainland China. After the check-in, you should get down to the ground floor to take train.
The Chongqing-Lhasa train is a green-looking ordinary express train, not a white-looking CRH train. You can find your seat according to the carriage number and seat number on the ticket, and then put down the luggage and wait for the train to leave.
1. The Tibet Travel Permit is very important and will be used many times, so please properly keep it.
The Tibet Travel Permit is not necessary when buying train tickets, but it is necessary for collecting tickets and taking trains. Train tickets can be bought 30 days in advance, while the Tibet Travel Permit needs to be processed at least half a month in advance. You can choose to buy the train ticket at least 20 days in advance and then immediately confirm your tour date and itinerary with the travel agency, and apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. The travel agency can also buy the train ticket for you after you confirm your itinerary and departure date with them 40 days in advance.
You should properly keep the Tibet Travel Permit which is required for security check, on train and get out of the station.
2. The Chongqing-Lhasa train is not available every day. Please pay attention to the departure date.
The Chongqing-Lhasa train departs every other day from Chongqing West Railway Station to Lhasa, not every day. You should notice the departure date when buying ticket and check related information carefully on the ticket after collect it. Make sure that you get to the railway station at right time.
3. The Railway Station is far away from the city center and it takes a long time to get there, so you’d better get there in advance.
Chongqing West Railway Station, which has not been in operation for a long time, is far away from the urban area and its infrastructure is still under improvement. It takes more than one hour to get to the Station either from the downtown or from Chongqing International Airport. Passengers who do not want to miss the train must arrive at the Railway Station at least 1.5 hours in advance to leave enough time for security check and check-in.
The original Chongqing North Railway Station is replaced by the new Chongqing West Railway Station with larger scale and more modern facilities, but a remote location of less convenient traffic and long traffic time than those of the Chongqing North Railway Station. Passengers need to leave more time to take trains there.