Laos-China Railway Clarifies Wet Weather Incident

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Laos-China Railway outdoor seating at Vientiane Station
Laos-China Railway employees bring seating outdoors at Vientiane Station.

The Laos-China Railway Company has issued a statement on its Facebook page clarifying an incident that occurred recently in which customers were caught in a downpour at the Vientiane Railway Station.

The Laos-China Railway Company has received negative feedback from the public after a viral video clip depicted passengers being left outside in the rain while queuing to purchase tickets.

The railway company has drawn public ire in the past for poor management of ticketing systems leading to lengthy queues at Vientiane Railway Station and other stations along the line.

Passengers are currently required to line up outside the station while waiting to purchase tickets, with only those at the front of the queue permitted to enter the indoor ticket hall.

The public has complained about a lack of facilities in the outdoor area, including toilets and shelter.

Due to historic demand, from 13-17 July, two trains will be combined to double the capacity routes to and from Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang.
Due to high demand, from 13-17 July, two trains will be combined to double the capacity on routes to and from Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang.

The company hastily opened railway ticket sales offices at locations in Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang after the Prime Minister’s Office ordered an investigation into its ticketing system early this year.

In response to the wet weather viral video, the Laos-China Railway Company explained in a Facebook post that it had, in fact, opened its doors, allowing customers to enter the indoor waiting area during the storm, however, this took place after the events recorded in the video.

The company also pointed out that it had installed some seating for the outdoor area last week. Toilets are also to be added to the outdoor waiting area, and are expected to be ready for use next week.

Meanwhile, a continued public outcry in favor of an online ticket reservation and payment system, which could alleviate lengthy queues, has not been met with a response.