China-Laos railway eyes December 2021 opening

Construction News Laos
Aerial photo taken on Oct. 21, 2020 shows the Vientiane-Vangvieng section of the China-Laos expressway (R) next to a bridge of the China-Laos Railway under construction in Vientiane Province, Laos. (Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group/Handout via Xinhua)

China-Laos railway eyes December 2021 opening

The China-Laos railway, a railroad stretching over 1,000 kilometers from Southwest China’s Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, to Vientiane in Laos, is expected to begin services by the end of this year, according to China State Railway Group Co Ltd, the country’s railroad operator.

Construction of the track was completed on Tuesday (02.11.2021) in Mengla county of the Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, which is near a land port on the China-Laos border.

With a designed speed of 160 km per hour, the cross-border railway service between the two cities is scheduled to open in December. The direct transport route is expected to slash travel time between the two cities to less than one day.

The whole railroad adopts Chinese railway technical standards and uses Chinese equipment. At present, the railway roadbed, bridges, tunnels, and power-related projects have all been completed, according to information provided by Kunming-based Yunnan Provincial Railway Investment Co Ltd, a main investor in the project.

The railway runs through the India-Eurasia plate collision zone, which features crisscrossing valleys and rivers. There are 167 tunnels along the China-Laos railway. The total length of the tunnels adds up to over 590 km, accounting for 63 percent of the railway’s total.