Technical inspection of Laos-China railway begins

Photo taken on Oct 20, 2021 from the first dynamic testing train travelling from Lao capital Vientiane to Laos-China border town of Boten shows the view of northern Laos. - Xinhua

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Laos-China Railway Company Ltd, began a technical inspection of the railway on Wednesday (Oct 20) by sending a test vehicle between the station in Vientiane to the Chinese border.

The railway has now entered a comprehensive technical inspection phase, which is a sign that operators can start counting down to the official opening day as planned.

The inspection is expected to take about 18 days and is being carried out by a Chinese company.

Technicians will check the electrical system, towing system for trucks and passengers, signal operations, communication and vibration systems, and the electromagnetic environment.

They will analyse the data obtained from the trials and assess the experimental results in accordance with strict structural standards. They will also improve any systems that need greater accuracy until they meet the required safety standards.

Trains on the railway will run at a speed of 160km per hour. During the technical inspection period, the train will run at a speed of 80km per hour.

To ensure that the inspection is carried out efficiently and with a high degree of safety, the Laos-China Railway Company Ltd. has set up a Technical Inspection Command and nine units to ensure the overall coordination of work.

Meanwhile, the Railway Traffic Control Centre has opened in Vientiane recently.

With the opening of the centre, control staff can issue various commands by computer such as ordering a train to run on the track and arrive at a station. The system also controls the train number, the running distance, and the speed limit.

The Laos-China Railway is a project that combines China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative with Laos’ ambition to use its landlocked status to become a land link. The railway runs south from Kunming in Yunnan province, China, to Vientiane.

The Lao section of the railway is 426km long and has been built according to Chinese administrative and technical standards.

Freight and passenger trains will run on the electrically-powered rail line, which is scheduled to open on Dec 2.

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