China-Laos Railway: Two years of transformative connectivity and economic vitality|Updated: December 5, 2023


Celebrating its second anniversary on Saturday, the China-Laos Railway has logged approximately 24 million passenger trips and transported around 29 million metric tons of cargo, playing a crucial role in enhancing regional connectivity and injecting vitality into economic and social development along its route.

As a key project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, this 1,035-km railway links China's southwestern city of Kunming with the Laotian capital of Vientiane, commencing operations on Dec 3, 2021.

The railway's user-friendly services have significantly increased international passenger travel in Laos and enhanced cross-border cargo transportation in the region. The railway department has prioritized service quality improvement to meet passengers' needs, allowing ticket purchases through mobile apps linked to local bank accounts.

The number of daily cross-border freight trains has surged from two to 14, with around 400 participating in cross-border operations, including those on the Lancang-Mekong Express freight train service that utilizes the China-Laos Railway. Cargo transported on the line originates from 31 major Chinese cities and reaches 12 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, such as Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

Moreover, the range of cross-border goods has expanded dramatically from about 10 to over 2,700, including electronics, photovoltaics, and automobiles.