Laos to Expand Railways to Vietnam

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Laos to Expand Railways to Vietnam

Following the successful launch of the Laos-China railway earlier this year, the South-East Asian nation of Laos has announced plans for further expansion of its railway network with the construction of a new line expected to begin by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024. The new line will span 554 km and connect the Lao capital of Vientiane with Vung Ang Seaport in Vietnam.

A feasibility study for the electricity-powered railway has already been completed and the entire project is expected to cost up to US$5 billion.

The first 139-km section of the railway will run from Thakhek, the capital of Laos’ central Khammouane province, to the Vietnamese border. When complete, the track will eventually form part of the planned regional rail network linking China’s Kunming city to Singapore via Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.

The development of the railway system via the Vietnamese seaport will provide a new, more cost-effective option for landlocked Laos and neighbouring Thailand to connect with countries in the Pacific region, such as Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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