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Shanghai - Xining Train

There are only four pairs of normal trains running daily between Shanghai Railway Station and Xining Railway Station, taking 25 – 34.5 hours. The running length is 2,383/2,401 kilometers (1,481/1,492 miles).
Besides, you can choose to travel by high speed train, but a transfer in Xi'an or Lanzhou is needed. By transfer, the journey takes around 10-12 hours in total.

As an alternative, you can also take direct flights to travel between the two cities, taking 3.5 hours for a single journey, but it usually costs more than rail trip and flight delays may occur frequently because of the changeable weather and the air traffic control.

Shanghai to Xining Train Schedule

(Last Update on Apr 25, 2023)
Train No.Departure - ArrivalTravel Time
Z37608:57 - 13:38+28h41m
K218610:56 - 20:47+33h51m
Z16420:02 - 21:03+25h1m
See more Shanghai Schedule

Xining to Shanghai Train Timetable

(Last Update on Apr 25, 2023)
Train No.Departure - ArrivalTravel Time
K218808:20 - 18:05+33h45m
Z16609:38 - 11:58+26h20m
Z37822:55 - 05:32++30h37m
See more Xining Schedule 

1. "+" indicates the second day; "++" indicates the third day.
2. The timetable listed above is for reference only. Please search for the real-time schedule via the search box on top of this page. 

Ticket Price of Shanghai - Xining Train

(Last Update on Apr 25, 2023)
Soft SleeperHard SleeperHard Seat
CNY 717.5
USD 106
CNY 464.5
USD 68
CNY 254.5
USD 37

 Running route:
Kunshan, Suzhou in Jiangsu, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, Nanjing, Chuzhou North, Bengbu, Suzhou in Anhui, Xuzhou, Dangshan, Xiayixian, Shangqiu, Minquan, Lankao, Kaifeng, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Sanmenxia, Tongguan, Weinan, Xi'an, Xianyang, Yangling, Caijiapo, Baoji, Tianshui, Longxi, Gangu, Wushan, Dingxi, Lanzhou, Haishiwan, Ledu, and Ping’anyi

Faster Transfers by High Speed Train

 Transfer in Xi'an:
Passengers can first take bullet trains to Xi'an, taking 6 – 11 hours, and then take Xi'an – Xining high speed trains which take 4 – 5 hours. In this case, the total consumed time may be 10 – 16 hours. A second class seat costs about CNY 900 in total.

 Transfer in Lanzhou:
First, they can take Shanghai – Lanzhou High Speed Train, taking 10.5 hours. And then take Lanzhou – Xining Bullet Train, taking 1 – 1.5 hours. In this way, the total travel time will be cut down to 11.5 – 12 hours. A second class seat costs around CNY900 for this whole journey.

In the near future, Shanghai – Xining Direct High Speed Trains may also be operated, by then the travel will be much easier.

Major cities along the way

Located in the west of Shaanxi Province, Baoji city is the birth place of Chinese ancestor Yandi and has a quite long history. The city has many historical and natural attraction sites such as Famen Temple, Zhougong Temple, Guanshan Grassland, and Taibai Mountain National Forest Park. The city can be easily reached by either railroad or highway, and it is pretty convenient to reach Xi'an Xianyang International Airport from Baoji city.

Tianshui, located in the southeastern region of Gansu Province, was once a vital stop along the ancient Silk Road and is praised as the root of ancient Chinese culture. When going to Tinshui city, you should not miss Maiji Caves which is 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the city and is one of the four well-known grottoes in China. In addition, you can also visit Fuxi Temple, Water Curtain Cave or Dadiwan Site. As the operation of Xi'an - Lanzhou High Speed Railway, Tinshui can be easily reached by bullet trains from major domestic cities.
Major Rail Lines from Shanghai to:


 Major Rail Lines from Xining to:

- Last updated on Apr. 25, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Shanghai - Xining Train
Asked by Pete from THAILAND | Nov. 25, 2019 22:38Reply
If there heating on the train Z164 to Xining?
Answers (1)
Answered by Leon from ITALY | Nov. 26, 2019 18:42

Yes, sure! And A/C serves all carriage, no matter sleeper or seat carriage. Don't worry about it, but Xining is quite cold in winter time. Be prepared if you plan to visit there in winter.
Asked by Howard from DENMARK | May. 15, 2019 20:20Reply
Sleeper tickets on train Z164 from Shanghai to Xining
I searched almost every day before June 5, the sleeper tickets always shows 0. I cannot take a hard seat over 24 hours! Please help!
Answers (1)
Answered by TravelChinaGuide | May. 16, 2019 17:34

Thank you for your inquiry.

This Z164's final stop is Lhasa, therefore, the tickets are under great demands and control. Usually there is hardly tickets offered to its stopover stations. If the other two rides cannot work for your schedule, you may consider to make a transfer in Lanzhou or Xi'an. There are high speed rides and also sleeper trains can be get. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Asked by Ompaa from ARGENTINA | Jan. 18, 2019 01:05Reply
If I am not heading to Lhasa directly, do I still need to show the Tibet Travel permit?
I want to take Z164 to Xining during mid May this year. I know this Z164 will finally reach Lhasa. However, I will stay in Xining for a few days and then to Lhasa. Will I need to permit when taking the trip from Shanghai to Xining part?
Answers (1)
Answered by Warren from USA | Jan. 20, 2019 16:17

If you will not go to Lhasa from Shanghai directly, you do not have to have a permit at the time of boarding. However, for your Xining to Lhasa trip, no matter by rail or by flight, the permit would be necessary.
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