Laos-China Rail to Start Cross-Border Service by April
Source: Vientiane Times
The Laos-China Railway Company Limited will introduce a cross-border service on the railway in mid-April.
At present, trains only run between stations within Laos, between Vientiane and Boten, because of travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, a few months ago, the Boten International Checkpoint on the Laos-China border opened to allow people to cross between the two countries. This paved the way for trains to run between Vientiane and Kunming in China’s neighboring Yunnan province.
Deputy Chief Engineer with the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd., Mr. Vongthong Souphanthong, told reporters on Wednesday that the rail operator will now run a cross-border service between Vientiane and Kunming starting in the middle of next month.
“We are in the process of coordinating and preparing various aspects of the service in both Laos and China in readiness for direct train travel between the two cities,” he said.
Cross-border travel will require passengers traveling from Vientiane to Kunming to present entry and exit documents at Boten station in Laos and then go to the immigration checkpoint at Bohan station in China.
According to the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd., since the Lao and Chinese governments reopened their countries to foreign travelers there are now a lot of tourists and businesspeople traveling on the railway to the Boten Station to enter Laos and also journeying between other stations on the railway.
Passenger numbers have now soared to an average of 1,500-1,600 people per day. Mr. Vongthong said that since the railway opened for service on December 3, 2021, the company has prioritized passenger service and safety and made continuous improvements.
On March 15 this year, Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. introduced online ticket sales. Passengers can now download the LCR Ticket App on their mobile phones to buy a ticket, then go to their departure station and use the QR code to pick up the ticket and travel. So far, at least 15,000 people have registered to use the LCR Ticket App.
Because the Laos-China Railway connects Laos to the People’s Republic of China and then to the world, the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. is the only company to have introduced online ticket sales in China. Various systems have been developed to be consistent with the online purchase of tickets to travel on the Laos-China Railway.