Laos-China Railway to Open for Freight Transport Before Allowing Passengers

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Laos-China Railway to open for freight initially
Laos-China Railway to open for freight initially.

The Laos-China Railway will open in December as scheduled but will be used primarily for freight transport, according to an announcement by the Prime Minister of Laos.

Prime Minister of Laos, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, made an announcement during a remote press conference held in Vientiane Capital last week.

“The Laos-China Railway will be completed and open for use by Laos National Day on 2 December,” said Prime Minister Phankham.

He said that the Lao government plans to launch the Laos-China Railway with a focus on freight traffic first, followed by tourist transportation when conditions allow.

“Tourism is a major source of foreign currency in Laos, thus relevant sectors should work hard to monitor and develop this sector. However, the safety of our population must first be ensured,” PM Phankham added.

Construction of the historic railway linking the Lao capital of Vientiane to the Chinese border over a distance of 427 km began in December 2016, linking five provinces including Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Vientiane Province, and Vientiane Capital.

The railway includes 198 km of tunnels, and will traverse 62 km of bridges. It will run from the Boten border gate, connecting Northern Laos to China, down to Vientiane Capital, with an operating speed of 160km per hour.