Phase 2 of Lao-Thai railway completed
Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project (Section II) has been fully completed and is ready to be opened for use by the public.
An official in-charge of Phase II of the project told Vientiane Times that 100 per cent of the work has been completed. The railway link will be opened for public use following the finalisation of the Thailand-Laos train licence agreement.
“We expect to launch the train service between August and October,” he said.
Vientiane or Khamsavath station of Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Project is located at Khamsavath village in Xaysettha district, and the rail link is expected to improve regional logistics services.
The work began on October 1, 2019 and the project was originally scheduled for completion by December 2021. However, work on Khamsavath station was affected by delays.
Phase II of the project comprises a 7.5-km extension of the railway line from Thanalaeng station at the Thai border to Khamsavath station.
This section cost 994.7 million baht (about 235.6 billion kip), of which 30 percent was a grant and 70 percent a low interest loan from Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA).
The project also included the construction of dormitories for staff, the station, tracks and other components.
Work on Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project (Section I) began in September 2013 and it was opened for service in 2017.
This section included a siding track at Thanalaeng station, 5,800 metres of railway mainline extension from Thanalaeng station to a container yard, and the upgrade of signalling and telecommunication systems from analogue to digital, allowing computerised control.
Authorities also completed a 38,000 square metre container yard, a 5,000 square metre warehouse, more than 2,000 metres of concrete access roads, a three-storey administration office, a weighing entry gate, a fire prevention system, a waste management facility, and amenities such as electricity and water supply.
Phase I of the railway was completed in 2008 and officially opened for service in March 2009. It comprised a 3.5-km railway line running from Thanalaeng station in Laos across the border to Nong Khai province in Thailand via the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge.
Work is also underway on the Laos-China Railway to lay tracks and build the Southern Vientiane station in Thanalaeng village, from where this line will link up to the Lao-Thai Railway.
The Laos-China and Thai-Sino Railways are part of a planned regional rail network to link China with Singapore through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia. The rail links will enable efficient logistics services in the region and internationally.