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China-Laos Railway service progressing

(China Daily/ANN) -- The newly opened China-Laos Railway has seen progress in passenger and cargo movements, boosting domestic tourism along the railway and promoting logistics between China and Asean countries.
As of Monday, a month after the cross-border railway began operations, the line has handled 670,000 passenger trips and 170,000 metric tons of cargo, according to the China State Railway Group, the national railway operator.

The China-Laos Railway performed well in the transport of both passengers and goods over the last month, boosting tourism, trade and bilateral exchanges.

It has played a positive role in improving travel conditions for people in both countries and promoting economic trade between China and Laos, the group said in a statement. On Dec 3, the railway began its maiden journey from Kunming, capital of Southwest China’s Yunnan province, to Vientiane, the Lao capital. The launch was witnessed by President Xi Jinping and his Lao counterpart, Thongloun Sisoulith, via video link.
The railway, a flagship project borne out of mutually beneficial cooperation efforts between the two countries, will serve as an effective channel facilitating greater economic and trade flow, balanced development and cultural exchanges.
The 1,035-kilometre line, which runs through lush tropical mountains and across the Mekong River, has shortened the journey from Kunming to Vientiane to about 10 hours.
Due to COVID-19 containment measures, cross-border railway services are not yet available for passengers, but the line has already proved its capability to transport cargo and promote trade between the two nations.
The train service has become a top choice for people from both countries.
On the Chinese side, the demand for passenger service has been growing. The number of daily trips started from 19,000 and reached a high of 33,000 at its peak over the past month. On its peak day, it operated 63 trips, providing domestic service every 30 minutes.
The Chinese section handled 620,000 passenger trips during that period.
The Lao section also saw growing demand, having handled 50,000 trips as of Monday. Daily passenger trips rose from about 1,000 at the beginning of operation to a peak of 2,600.
During holidays and weekends, the demand for the service in Laos further increased. During the New Year’s Day holiday, two additional trips were added from Vientiane to Boten, a Laotian border city.
According to the railway operator, more passengers have been buying tickets to travel to Xishuangbanna and Puer-both stops along the railway-since the line opened.
The freight train services can carry cargo from Kunming to Vientiane in as little as 30 hours, reducing transportation costs and time compared with roads, according to the railway group.
The railway has boosted China-Asean economic and trade cooperation and has enabled more enterprises to benefit. The line has operated 380 cargo services since its opening, transporting 170,000 metric tons of products.
About 70 of those services are international and have hauled more than 50,000 tons of cargo across the border. The variety of goods has expanded from rubber and fertilizer to automobiles, textiles, vegetables and flowers.

(Latest Update January 6, 2022)

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