China-Laos railway virtually complete by end 2019

A key Belt and Road project in Laos designed to boost economic development and tourism, a series of railway bridges and tunnel projects, should be 90% complete by end of 2019

Over 90% of the tendered bridge and tunnel projects of the China-Laos railway will be completed by the end of 2019.

As reported by Xinhua News Agency, Li Bingxuan, general manager of the Laos-China Railway Co (LCRC), said on 13 February during the China-Laos Railway Construction Working Conference that the construction of the key project under the Belt and Road initiative is entering the critical and decisive phase in 2019.

The LCRC is the joint venture company set up by China (70%) and Laos (30%) to undertaking the railway's construction and future operation. Analysts put a price tag of US$6 billion on the project.

With the railway's roadbed and bridge projects on schedule to be 95% complete by the end of the year, and the tunnel projects 90% complete, Li said that the construction of the base for track laying and the railway stations would start soon.

The China-Laos railway has a length 414 kilometres with bridges of 62 kilometres and tunnels of 198 kilometres, linking Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and capital Vientiane. The operating speed on the route is designed at 160 kilometres per hour.

The China-Laos railway is the flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative in Laos, and is expected to give a boost to the tourism industry and promote economic development. It is expected to open in December 2021.


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