Laos-Thailand Railway Prepares for Official Opening with Trial Runs

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Khamsavath train station (Photo: Pathet Lao Daily)

Laos and Thailand have commenced a trial run of the new cross-border railway service before its official launch, which is expected to be announced within the upcoming few months.

Operated by the Lao National Railway State Enterprise under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in collaboration with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the trials are scheduled to take place between 14 and 17 May from Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane Khamsavath Station in Laos.

After this initial trial run, the testing will further extend from Udon Thani Railway Station and Nong Khai Station in Thailand to Laos’ Thanaleng Railway Station and Khamsavath Station from 18-20 May. 

The construction of the Lao-Thai Railway Project began in 2013 with an initial completion target set for the end of 2021. However, the Khamsavath Station project encountered delays, resulting in its completion in 2023.

The Lao-Thai Railway and the Laos-China Railway are crucial components of a regional rail network aimed at connecting China to Singapore through Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia. 

While the rail train was anticipated, the first regional express freight train from China-Laos-Thailand-Malaysia, carrying 30 containers of electronics and vehicles, recently departed from Chengdu, China. Its destination is Port Klang, Malaysia, with stops in Laos and Thailand along the way.