Source: Vientiane Times
Tickets for travel on the Laos-China Railway will soon go on sale at the Vientiane Center – a shopping mall in the city centre – so that ticket sales are not limited to train stations, the Laos-China Railway Company Limited has said.
The company, which operates the rail route, is also setting up an online system for the sale of tickets, which is expected to become operational in the middle of this year, it said in a statement sent to the Vientiane Times.
The move follows complaints by railway users about the inconvenience of having to travel to Vientiane Station to buy tickets, with the station situated more than 10 kilometres outside the city centre.
Tickets can be purchased two days in advance of travel but purchase on the day of travel is also possible if tickets are still available, a company official told the Vientiane Times.
Another continuing complaint since the railway opened in December is that some people have bought tickets and resold them at an inflated price.
In light of this issue, the Prime Minister’s Office instructed the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Laos-China Railway Company Limited to investigate the matter.
The company official said it was possible that ticket touts were buying and hoarding tickets for last minute sale, but stressed that they were not authorised to do so and that, at present, tickets are officially sold only at stations.
In its statement, the company said it had done and would continue to do its best to ensure convenience for passengers.
“Providing sufficient transport is our top priority and we have worked to ensure that all passengers and people receive good service and are able to use the railway in a way that is convenient,” the company said.
Since its inauguration, more and more people are choosing to travel on the railway, which connects Vientiane to the Chinese border, given its convenience and faster travel times.
As a result, on February 14 the company doubled the number of services, from one to two a day, from Monday to Thursday, so that two services are provided on each day of the week.
In addition, the company will add extra services on special occasions and festivals such as over International New Year in January, when three trips a day were offered over the holiday.
There seven passenger stations – in Vientiane, Phonhong, Vangvieng, Luang Prabang, Xay and Nateuy.
In addition, three stations have opened for freight transport, at Vientiane Tai, Nateuy and Vangvieng. The rail company plans to open another freight station in Luang Prabang later this month.