Luang Prabang railway station nearly 50% done

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The China-Laos Railway tracks are successfully extended from the Lao capital Vientiane to the northern transport hub of Luang Prabang on Dec 29. KAIKEO SAIYASANE/XINHUA

The Luang Prabang railway station, part of the Laos-China Railway, is expected to be finished in October, and is currently about 45 per cent complete.

An official from the province, Khemkham Phongsavath, said all the track needed for the railway in Luang Prabang province has been laid and work is now progressing on the main station building as well as associated structures around the station.

Power lines for the railway and fencing along the tracks are expected to be in place by the end of September and by October all the work will be complete so that a trial train run can take place.

The remaining half of the track will be laid between Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha provinces and the Chinese border.

The first half of the track, covering 240km between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province, had been laid by the end of last year, according to Laos-China Railway Co Ltd.

Construction of all stations on the railway is making good progress with the final work slated to begin in March and April ahead of the scheduled launch of operation in December. The main structures will be completed in March and April, when work on the interior of the stations will begin.

The whole project is on schedule and the railway is set to open for public use in December.

The railway will have 10 passenger stations in Vientiane, Phonhong, Vangvieng, Kasy, Luang Prabang, Nga, Xay, Namor, Nat Euy, and Boten as well as 22 goods stations. The 422.4km railway runs between Vientiane and the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha, and ends at the Chinese border in Boten.

Construction of the $5.986 billion railway began in December 2016. It is a strategic part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ plans to transform the country from being landlocked to a land link within the region.