Laos to begin domestic rail services on Dec 4


The governments of Laos and China signed a treaty on cross-border rail transport on Nov 30 when the Convention on Transboundary Rail Transport between China and Laos was signed. - Xinhua

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Passengers will be able to buy tickets for travel on the Laos-China Railway starting on Dec 4 following the inauguration of the railway on Dec 3.

To begin with, tickets will be on sale at railway stations but will not be available online, and travel will be limited to destinations within Laos because of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, according to the Laos-China Railway Company Limited.

Tickets can be purchased three days before the departure date and passengers must show an ID card and proof of two Covid vaccinations.

Temperature checks will be carried out on entry to stations and anyone with a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celcius will not be allowed to enter the station.

All passengers must comply with the standard Covid prevention measures by wearing a face mask and following the rules on social distancing during the journey.

Initially, there will be two round trips each day, from Vientiane to Boten and from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.

The train to Boten will leave Vientiane at 8am and return from Boten at noon.

The train to Luang Prabang will depart Vientiane at 15:44pm and return from Luang Prabang at 18:16pm.

There are 10 passenger stations in total, of which six will be open initially in Vientiane, Phonhong, Vangvieng, Luang Prabang, Xay and Boten.

The Laos-China Railway Company Limited will run two freight trips and two passenger services each day.

Tickets from Vientiane to Phonhong will cost 86,000 kip for a first class seat on an EMU train, 56,000 kip for a second class seat on an EMU train, and 40,000 kip for travel on an ordinary train.

Prices from Vientiane to Vangvieng will be 164,000 kip for a first class seat on an EMU train, 103,000 kip for a second class seat on an EMU train, and 74,000 kip for travel on an ordinary train.

From Vientiane to Luang Prabang the cost will be 313,000 kip for a first class seat on an EMU train, 198,000 kip for a second class seat on an EMU train, and 140,000 kip for travel on an ordinary train.

Tickets from Vientiane to Xay district in Oudomxay province will cost 443,000 kip for first class EMU travel, 279,000 kip for second class EMU travel, and 198,000 kip for a seat on an ordinary train.

Prices from Vientiane to Boten will be 529,000 kip for first class EMU travel, 333,000 kip for second class EMU travel, and 238,000 kip for a seat on an ordinary train.

The cost of freight is set at 0.6 yuan/tonne/kilometre.

The governments of Laos and China signed a treaty on cross-border rail transport on Nov 30 when the Convention on Transboundary Rail Transport between China and Laos was signed. The ceremony took place via video link.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Viengsavath Siphandone signed the treaty on behalf of Laos.

The Convention spells out the main operations of the two countries’ border railway stations and includes the rules on cross-border rail transport, with designated transit points for cross-border transport between Laos and China.

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