China-Laos Railway puts freight transport on fast track

Xinhua, March 14, 2022

Aerial photo taken on Dec. 4, 2021 shows an international freight train bound for Laos at the border town of Mohan in southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Wenyao)

The freight volume of the China-Laos Railway has hit 1.2 million tonnes, as the landmark project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation marked 100 days of operation Saturday.

Opening to traffic on Dec. 3, 2021, the China-Laos Railway stretches over 1,000 km and links Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, to the Laotian capital Vientiane.

According to the China Railway Kunming Group Co., Ltd., 13 provinces and municipalities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Sichuan have opened cross-border freight train service on the railway.

As of 100 days of its operation, the imported goods via the China-Laos Railway exceeded 120,000 tonnes with the value exceeding 500 million yuan (78.98 million U.S. dollars), while the exports hit 70,000 tonnes with a value of over 1.7 billion yuan.

The product portfolio in the freight trains has expanded from rubber and fertilizer at the initial stage to electronic products, communication equipment, automobiles, and flowers.

To further facilitate the logistic transport, operators have launched the Lancang-Mekong Express service, which takes 26 hours from Kunming to Vientiane, shorter than the general freight transport.

Meanwhile, the passenger service on the railway has maintained a steady increase. It has so far transported over 1.8 million passengers since its launch, with an average of 23.5 pairs of passenger trains every day along the route on the China side.