China – Laos Railway

Written by Vivi Updated Mar. 18, 2022

As an important part of the Trans-Asian Railway, the China – Laos Railway starts from Kunming of Yunnan Province, passes through the China – Laos border of Mohan, Laos’ famous tourist resort of Luang Prabang, and ends in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. This 1000-kilometer-long railway is set to begin operations by the end of 2021 as scheduled.


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Introduction of China – Laos Railway

China – Laos Railway Sections

The China - Laos Railway consists of Kunming – Yuxi Railway, Yuxi - Mohan Railway and Mohan – Vientiane Railway. The 88-kilometer-long Kunming – Yuxi Railway has a design speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). The 507-kilometer-long Yuxi – Mohan Railway has a design speed of 160 km/h. And the 418-kilometer-long Mohan – Vientiane Railway has a design speed of 160 km/h.

Kunming – Yuxi Railway

The Kunming – Yuxi Railway is an electrified railroad with a total length of 88 kilometers. It is a shared part of the China - Vietnam China - Laos International Railway. This railroad was put into service in 2016, after 5 years of construction. On December 28, 2016, a bullet train left from Kunming South Railway Station to Yuxi, arrived foor Yuxi Railway Station, marking the opening of Kunming - Yuxi Intercity high-speed Railway.

Yuxi – Mohan Railway

The Yuxi – Mohan Railway starts from Yuxi, passes throug Yuanjiang, Mojiang, Puer, Xishuangbanna and ends at Mohan on the border with Laos. The total length of the railway is 507 kilometers. Construction of this railroad will be completed by the end of 2021.

This railway is an important part of the Trans-Asian Railway from Kunming to Bangkok, as well as an important international railway link between Yunnan Province and Laos and Thailand, and a major construction project for Yunnan Province to integrate into the country's "Belt and Road" concept and promote connectivity with neighboring countries. It is of great significance to improve the layout of the southwest railway network, promote the construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and promote the economic and social development of the regions along the route.


Mohan (Boten) – Vientiane Railway

The Mohan (Boten) – Vientiane Railway starts from Boten, the northern Lao town bordering southwest China’s Yunnan Province, run southward through the northern Laos provinces of Nanta, Udomsai, Luang Prabang, arrives in Vientiane, the capital of the Laos, with a total length of 414 kilometers. The designed speed is 160 km/h. The construction of the whole line started in December 2016 and it entered into full construction in 2017. It is expected to be completed and be put into use by the end of 2021.

Construction of China – Laos Railway

The signing ceremony of china - Laos railway project was held in Beijing on November 13, 2015. The governments of China and Laos signed an intergovernmental railway cooperation agreement, marking the official entry into the implementation phase of the China - Laos Railway.

In April 2016, the construction of Yuxi – Mohan Railway began. In the same year in December, the opening ceremony of the China - Laos Railway line was held in Luang Prabang in northern Laos. During the process of the construction, achievements have been made and many technical problems have been overcome. Due to geographical factors, 47% of the railway will be in 75 tunnels and 15% will pass over 167 bridges. As of December 2017, the construction was 20% completed. In September 2019, it was reported as 80% completed.

According to plan, the China - Laos railway will be extended southward to link Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, as an important part of the Trans-Asian Railway, and it will connect to Chinese railway network.

China trains

The Benefits of Building China – Myanmar Railway

The China – Laos Railway will play an exemplary role in the Belt and Road Initiative. It will drive the economic and social development of Laos, improve the efficiency and level of local transportation, and create a large number of employment opportunities for Laos. On the other hand, it will inject new impetus into the economic development of southwest China. In the future, the China - Laos Railway will also connect Thailand and even Malaysia and other South Asian countries. It will become an important part of the north-south artery of the Central and Southern Peninsula, helping to unlock the land traffic difficulties in Laos and promote economic development.

After the completion of the China - Laos Railway, it will also improve local transportation efficiency and level, brought new economic growth points to Southeast Asia, and provided new ideas and opportunities for the cooperative development of the region.  

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