The work presented in this paper focuses on support time for tunnel, which has much effect on stability of tunnel. Based on loess tunnel of Zhengzhou-Xi’an high-speed passenger rail line in China, large scale model test with geometric proportion 1: 20 was applied to study on different support time. Supplemental numerical analysis was carried out to investigate the effect of release ratio of stress which cannot be covered by model test. It is revealed that it is asynchronous change for deformation, strain and stress of surround rock. If the supporting constructs prematurely, internal force of support would be excessive greatly and if the supporting constructs too late, it will bring excessive slack pressure which leads to the plastic zone unfavorable, even tunnel collapse. The reasonable support time can improve self-bearing capability of surrounding rock and reduce the cost. The limited displacements about 17.8 cm for crown and 12.9 for horizontal convergence are gained. The research results can act as reference for similar materials tunnel and underground engineering construction.