Laos: High-speed rail makes progress

VIENTIANE, 24 May 2019: The final concrete span of the first Mekong River rail bridge slotted into place last Saturday the Laos-China Railway Co Ltd confirmed in a report quoted by Xinhua.

The China Railway No 8 Engineering Group (CREC-8) reported it has completed the closure of the first span of the Luang Prabang cross-Mekong River railway bridge There are two cross-Mekong bridges under construction as part of a project to open a high-speed rail line linking China with Laos and ultimately Thailand.

The 1.459-metre long Mekong River bridge stands on the outskirts of the world heritage town of Luang Prabang some 400 km north of Vientiane by road.

Photo (Xinhua/Duan Xiaoping) ,21 May, shows the joining of the concrete sections on Luang Prabang Mekong River railway bridge in northern Laos. It is the first completed bridge span of two cross-Mekong bridges required for the high-speed rail line.

The China-Laos railway crosses the Mekong River twice, with Luang Prabang and Ban Ladhan bridges under construction by the Chinese engineering company CREC-8.

The 414-km railway line will connect with China’s high-speed rail track at the Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and end in Vientiane through mountainous terrain requiring the construction hundreds of bridges and tunnels covering distances of 60 km and 198 km respectively.

Construction started in December 2016 and should be ready for test runs in late 2021.

However, the operating speed of trains will have a limit of 160 km per hour considerably lower than the 200 kph trains that operate across China.

(Source: Xinhua and People’s Daily)