Source: Vientiane Times
Work on the country’s third longest tunnel at Namor district in Oudomxay province, which is part of the Laos-China Railway Project and has a length of 9020 metres, has been completed.
The Laos-China Railway Company informed the media that the excavation of the railway tunnel was successfully completed on Wednesday amid the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
The work was completed 43 days ahead of schedule despite several challenges in the construction area, which was filled by groundwater. The country’s third longest tunnel is in Koulong village.
The excavation was done by the construction company while ensuring safety, quality and efficiency.
Officials of the Laos-China Railway Company also said that amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the firm expanded the team in charge of construction and prevention and control of infections.
Using protective measures aimed at preventing and controlling the disease, the company is focused on overcoming hardship, and its employees are working all day and night. The quality of security was enhanced to allow the project to run regularly and according to the plan.
On March 27, the Laos-China Railways Project officially launched the rail network at the tunnel in Oudomxay province in Laos, and the railway link on the Chinese side began operating on April 7. This will provide the foundation for the Laos-China railway service while is expected to be operational by 2021.
Work on the tunnel began in March 2017.
The Laos-China Railway Project will link Kunming city of China’s Yunnan province and Vientiane in Laos. This is a project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that symbolises Laos-China friendship.
The completion of the project will help to enhance relations between the people of Laos and China. This is important for the Belt and Road policy, which will change Laos from a landlocked country into a land-linked nation through the development of the railway network.
Passenger trains will run at 160 km an hour from Vientiane to the Boten-Mohan border crossing between Laos and China, passing through the four provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha. This section of the vast rail network will cover 414.3 km.
The project will create the first route linking Laos to China’s rail network.
The BRI dates back to 2013, when President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan.
At that time, he called for countries in the region to work together to create the Silk Road Economic Belt. Yidaiyilu means the One Belt, One Road initiative.
President Xi discussed it at length and was impressed by the thought that the scheme would involve so many countries developing together, with no one left behind.