Source: Vientiane Times
As the number of passengers surges, the Laos-China Railway Company has announced it will increase the number of train journeys to meet the growing demand for rail travel.
It will add a round-trip journey between Vientiane and Xay district in Oudomxay province, using a standard-type train, from July 28-29, the company said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
In addition, the company will join two EMU high-speed trains together on the Vientiane to Luang Prabang route to double the number of seats and will provide two round trips on this route on July 30-31.
The company decided to extend its services after passenger numbers increased significantly in recent months since the government fully re-opened the country to foreign visitors.
The influx of visitors, mostly from neighbouring Thailand, coupled with an increase in the number of Lao travellers visiting the northern provinces, bumped up the demand for seats beyond the capacity provided by existing train services.
The lack of seats and the difficulty in obtaining tickets led passengers to make complaints on social media about the problems encountered, with many people having to wait for hours in long lines to buy tickets. This forced the company to expand its services.
Regarding public suggestions about adding overnight trips, the rail operator explained that safety checks must be carried out on trains overnight so it was not possible to provide extra services at this time.