Laos, Thailand and China to Construct New Railway Bridge for Freight

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Freight services along the Laos-China Railway
A container is loaded onto a train along the Laos-China Railway (Photo: CRI)

Thailand has been transporting more cargo to China by rail since the opening of the Laos-China railway. The shorter time required to carry products by rail has resulted in a rise in Thai exports to China.

Thai PBS reports that Laos, Thailand, and China are thinking about building a new railway bridge, running parallel to the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, to assist in the cross-border transport of containers.

The construction will start 30 meters from the first Lao-Thai Friendship bridge and have a total of four railway lines.

At the moment, due to a difference in track gauges, Thai cargo containers headed for China need to be unloaded from trains at a container terminal in Nong Khai and loaded onto container trucks to cross the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge to Vientiane. Here they are then loaded onto the Laos-China railway for shipment to China.

Thailand is keen to use the railway to ship more agricultural products to China, particularly orchids, rubber, cassava, palm oil, and fishery and livestock products.

Laos-China Railway was linked to the Thanaleng Dry Port between May and June this year to better facilitate freight transportation.

According to a report, more than 1 million tons of goods have been transported on the Laos-China railway since it became operational eight months ago. Goods worth USD 1.35 billion have been transported on this route.