China-Laos railway achieves socioeconomic benefits|Updated: March 12, 2024


Starting from Kunming in China in the north and Vientiane in Laos in the south, the China-Laos Railway has sent nearly 29 million passengers and transported more than 33 million tons of goods since its opening on Dec 3, 2021.

The 1,035-kilometer China-Laos Railway connects China and Laos closely and continues to enhance the well-being of the people of the two countries and the region.

Since its opening in April 2023, international passenger trains have been operated every day, sending a total of 110,900 international passengers by December 2023. The economical, convenient and comfortable way of travel has become the first choice of many cross-border tourists, scholars, and businessmen.

It drives regional connectivity and has become an international golden corridor with a high level of security and efficiency that connects the inside and outside of China. Over the past two years, Chinese railway staff have been working hard on the Lao section of the China-Laos Railway.

The 9.59-kilometer-long Youyi or friendship tunnel is connected to the Boten Station in Laos at one end and the Mohan Station in China at the other. About 5 kilometers from the Chinese border land crossing, the Boten Station is the first station of the China-Laos Railway into Laos.


Li Wenbiao, the person in charge of the train inspection office in Boten said:“This year is the first Spring Festival after the opening of the international passenger service. There are more passengers and more cargo. And the inspection task has increased significantly.”From the beginning of this year to Feb 9, about 1,515 of arriving and departing freight trains have received safe inspection and maintenance, a year-on-year increase of more than 200 percent.

The center of the Laos section of the China-Laos Railway is responsible for the maintenance and management of railway infrastructure equipment such as power supply, communications, signals and vehicles.

The proportion of bridges and tunnels in the Laos section is as high as 62.8 percent, and in addition to flood control, inspection and maintenance of tunnels and bridges is also has a key task to ensure railway safety.

Taking the Luang Prabang cross-Mekong River super major bridge with a total length of 1,458.9 meters as an example, this bridge crosses the Mekong River which is the most difficult and technically complex bridge in the whole line whose five main piers are located in the river.


The average age of the Chinese and Lao employees responsible for overhauling this bridge is less than 28 years old, and they are strict with the inspection and maintenance of the bridge.

Thonglor Duangsavanh, editor-in-chief of local daily Vientiane Times, said that Laos used to lack the access to transportation, but the opening of the China-Laos railway has provided great convenience for tourists from all over the world.

Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone said in an interview that the Lao-Chinese railway greatly facilitates people’s travel, promotes the production and export of commodities, and attracts a large number of tourists. It has achieved both economic and social benefits and has played a great role in promoting interconnectivity, the regional economic and trade exchanges, and the economic prosperity along the route.