The Laos century-project—a high speed train connection linking Vientiane to Kunming in China—is making progress according to officials.
Laos and Chinese construction companies involved into the high speed train infrastructure, have said that tunneling activities as well as the construction of bridges, roads and main stations make the project more and more visible. Once fully built, the railway will play an important role in passengers and goods transport, and promote trade, investment and tourism between Laos and China.
Recently, some media were taken to visit the progress in construction. Media went to the site of a rail station in Bohan (China) where infrastructural construction activities are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. They also visited under construction Laos-China Friendship Tunnel stretching between Bohan of China and Boten of Laos. The tunnel will have a length of 9.5 km, with 7.1 km lying in China and 2.4 km in Laos. Over 300 m has been tunneled on the Chinese side.
The construction of high speed railway from Kunming and Bohan was launched in 2016. The railway will be over 500 km long. On average each construction activity is around 20-30% completed. The project will involve the construction of 18 main stations each equipped with a freight distribution warehouse. Double tracks will be built between Kunming and Xienghung, according to a representative of Kunming Railway Company.
The construction in Yunnan is being conducted in an environment friendly manner with strict standards applied to mitigate impacts on farmlands of local people these include the construction of walls to reduce noise pollution in populous areas. Once completed, the two countries will be able to use brand new trains that will travel between Kunming and Vientiane or China and Laos thus enhancing the comprehensive relations and cooperation between the two countries and bringing economic benefits to Laotian and Chinese people.
Kunming is connected by 70 high-speed railways to all major cities in China. Meanwhile it is expected that once fully built in 2021 the Kunming-Vientiane railway will significantly reduce passengers and goods transport from several days using normal trucks to 6-7 hours using high speed trains.