Laos seeks rail project detail

Construction News Laos

Laos is seeking clarification on the deal between Thailand and China to construct a double-track rail route, Transport Minister  ACM Prajin Juntong says.


Nong Khai train station is the connecting point for the Thai-Lao rail project which has been operated since March 2012. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Speaking after returning from Laos yesterday, ACM Prajin said Lao authorities want Thailand to provide them with the construction details and the project’s time frame so they can go ahead with plans to build a dual-track rail route from Vientiane to Kunming in China.

ACM Prajin paid a two-day visit to Vientiane to push for the development of dual-track rail routes linking Bangkok, Vientiane and Kunming.

The 1.435m standard gauge route will connect Bangkok with the Lao capital Vientiane, and with Kunming, the largest city in China’s Yunnan province.

Last year, Thailand and China signed an agreement to construct a 734km Nong Khai-Nakhon Ratchasima-Kaeng Khoi-Map Ta Phut rail line and a 133km track from Kaeng Khoi to Bangkok.

China and Laos signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 to construct a 417km railway, with more than 70% of the line passing through tunnels, ACM Prajin said.

The estimated cost of the project is $7 billion (228.4 billion baht).

ACM Prajin said Lao authorities wanted to know when a land survey of the Thai rail route will be conducted and when the track design will be carried out so they could decide whether to share technology on railway construction and operations, he said.

Topic of discussion also included project management, maintenance and human resources. There were project management difference between the two rail projects, ACM Prajin said without giving details.