Laos-China railway now in advanced stages of construction

A portion of the ongoing Laos-China railway construction located at the Mekong River bridge. Photo by James Clark/Flickr

Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. is now in the advanced stages of construction for the 422-kilometer Vientiane-Boten railway.

This as drilling of the tunnels across the entire stretch is now through, a report by state news agency Xinhua and was picked up by Vietnam News said.

The consortium officially cleared all right-of-way issues and that the Xiang Ngeun No. 3 Tunnel, being the last tunnel, was successfully drilled through on Tuesday.

The company is now in preparations for larger-scale civil engineering stages of construction such as station construction and installation while plans for operations and management will also be brought to the table.

The Vientiane-Boten link, also known as the Laos-China railway, is a transportation project that will connect Laos and China through the small town of Boten which borders China.

It is a strategic docking project between China‚Äôs proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.

The railway will cross the Mekong River twice, passing through two 60-kilometer tropical forest mountains with harsh construction environments such as steep terrain, turbulent rivers, broken rock formations, and frequent water and mud rush in tunnels.

In China, the line will be connected to the rail system in Mohan through the Yuxi-Mohan railway.

Construction of the project began in December 2016 and was expected for completion and full operations by December 2021.

Once complete, the railway system was expected to run at an operating speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

By the end of the month, the China-Laos railway was expected to complete all tunnel construction, install rail tracks of 148 km which is one-third of the railway, and ceiling the top of its first station in Nateuy.