Source: Vientiane Times
The Laos-China Railway Company has announced it will operate a slower-speed train in addition to the two existing high-speed EMU trains to meet the growing needs of passengers.
The additional train, which will run at a speed of 120 km an hour and have a capacity of more than 1,000 passengers, arrived in Vientiane on Friday.
It is scheduled to start services next month, the Vice Engineer of the Laos-China Railway Company, Mr Vongthong Souphanthong, told the media on Friday.
The Laos-China Railway began its services on December 3 last year, and its trains have carried 124,225 passengers as of February 13. On an average, 1,725 passengers take trips on the trains every day, with daily numbers reaching more than 2,800 passengers on peak days.
The rail link has transported 157,568 tonnes of goods as of February 13, equivalent to an average of 2,188 tonnes a day, with a daily peak of 6,748 tonnes.
Since February 14, the company doubled rail trip, from one to two a day, from Monday to Thursday, so that two services are provided on each day of the week.
To meet growing needs, the company plans to increase services on weekends as there are usually more passengers on Saturday and Sunday, Mr Vongthong said.
“If this is still not sufficient, we will connect two existing EMU trains into one, and that can double the carrying capacity to 1,400 passengers per trip,” he said.
These plans would be adequate to meet the demands for passenger services, Mr Vongthong said.
To facilitate customers, the company has announced it will soon start selling tickets at its authorised office at the Vientiane Center – a shopping mall in the city centre – so that ticket sales are not limited to train stations.
The company is setting up an online system for selling tickets, which is expected to become operational in the middle of this year. The move is also expected to address the issue of some people buying tickets and reselling them at an inflated price.
Mr Vongthong said his company is working with the security forces to investigate this issue and those found guilty will be punished in accordance with relevant regulations.
“If our staff is found to be involved, we will enforce discipline on the wrongdoer,” he said.
He called on the public to inform officials if they notice any irregularities in this regard.