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Lao Rail Operator Adds New Stations as Passenger Numbers Surge

Source: The Star

On March 10, the Laos-China Railway Company Limited opened two new stations on the cross-border service, namely Xay station on the Lao side of the border and Yuxi station in China.

The C88/7 cross-border service now stops at five stations in Laos – Vientiane, Vangvieng, Luang Prabang, Boten, and Xay Station – and carries passengers traveling to work and places of study and heading for tourist destinations, etc.

In addition, a new stop at Phonhong has been added to the C84 service while the timetables on the C85, C92, C84, K12, and K11 trains have been adjusted in relation to some stations to better suit people’s travel needs.

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The Laos-China Railway Company is also running more EMU passenger trains in both directions, so there are now 12 journeys each day to handle the increasing number of passengers, starting on Jan 22.

To accommodate the growth in travel and ensure the railway can cater to the spike in passengers during ASEAN meetings and events and during Visit Laos Year 2024, the rail operator has increased the number of C92/1 passenger train journeys each day.

The number of people traveling between destinations in Laos and between Laos and China as of December 2023 increased by nearly 91 percent compared to the figure for 2022.

In April last year, the rail operator began running cross-border trains between Vientiane and Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province which borders Laos.

Last year, more than 100,000 passengers from 72 countries used the railway to cross the Laos-China border, according to the Kunming branch of the China Railway Company Group.

In July, the company revised the train schedule and increased the efficiency of immigration checks. Since it came into operation, the railway has become the main form of cross-country transport in northern Laos, not only for passengers but also for freight.

Last year, millions of tonnes of goods were transported by rail, with most being shipped from Laos to China. Thailand also shipped large quantities of fruit to China through Laos and imported a large volume of goods from China by rail.

Some of the products imported from China were further shipped to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar.