According to China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group (CREGC), which is responsible for the construction of the whole track laying project of the Mohan (Boten) – Vientiane section of the China-Laos Railway, on 30 March 2021 the last 500-meter long rail was successfully welded by Vientiane Rail Welding Plant. This marks the accomplishment of the welding of all the 500-meter long rails on the Mohan (Boten) – Vientiane section.

All the China-Laos railway lines undertaken by the Vientiane Rail Welding Plant, adopt Chinese technology, equipment, and standards. Based on the demand of overseas projects, CREGC has significantly innovated the railway equipment and layout by using the configuration jointly developed by China Academy of Railway Sciences and CREGC, which effectively guarantees the production quality and efficiency of the welded joint, at the same time significantly reducing the production cycle. Such efforts have promoted the smooth progress of the construction and production of the China-Laos Railway, and helped China’s rail welding technology, equipment and standards to go global.


The Boten-Vientiane section of the China-Laos Railway is due to begin operations in December 2021. The line will stretch 414km between the town of Boten on the Chinese border, and Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Construction started in December 2016. Featuring an electrified overhead line, trains will reach speeds of 160km/h for passenger services and 120km/h for freight. The route will serve 32 stations, passing through 75 tunnels and over a total of 167 bridges.

The Boten-Vientiane railway is a key element of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Aimed at enhancing trade routes. There are plans for a trans-Asia railway that will eventually run for 5,500km, connecting Yunnan and Singapore, via Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

The China-Laos Railway is the first international railway directly connected to China’s railway network and with Chinese investment, since the Belt and Road Initiative was outlined. After opening to traffic at the end of 2021, the railway will play a significant role in improving the traffic conditions in Laos and in promoting the development of regional industry and economy. In fact, this railway connects not only to China, but also to Thailand and eventually to Malaysia in the future, thus contributing significantly to the task of transforming Laos from a landlocked country to a land-linked country.

In short, the project represents a good case study on the internationalization of Chinese technology, equipment, and standards under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

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