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Post Info TOPIC: Laos scraps full rail link to Nong Khai !!!


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Laos scraps full rail link to Nong Khai !!!

Laos has shelved plans to build a railway to connect its capital with Nong Khai to avoid duplication with a proposed high-speed train project from China to Thailand that would pass through Laos.

Permanent secretary for transport Supoj Saplom was informed by representatives of the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport yesterday of the cancellation of the planned 1.65 billion baht project to lay a nine-kilometre-long track from the Tha Naleng railway station on the Laos side of the border to Vientiane.

The track currently crosses into Laos from Nong Khai over the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and terminates at Tha Naleng station.

Mr Supoj said Lao authorities determined the project would be redundant given the planned high-speed train project which would link Thailand and China via Laos.

Tha Naleng station will be developed into a cargo yard to service that proposed joint venture, which would have trains travelling at an average speed of 250km/h.

The shelved project was to have been a Thai-Lao joint venture, with a Thai grant covering 30% of its cost and a Thai soft loan taking care of the rest.

However, Lao and Thai transport authorities did agree to build a new bridge next to the friendship bridge across the Mekong River to support trains.

Currently road traffic on the friendship bridge must be halted for two hours when a train crosses the river, which it does twice daily. Thailand will hire a contractor to design the new bridge and both countries will form a joint committee to consider the design and where the bridge will be constructed on the respective countries' soil.

The Lao and Thai governments have yet to determine how the new bridge will be financed.

Also discussed at yesterday's meeting was cooperation on a new tourism-oriented bus service from Thailand to Vietnam via Laos.

Thailand and Vietnam are eager to begin the new service, but Laos has been hesitant.

The meeting concluded that the three countries should form a committee to pave the way for transnational road transport.

Officials will need to iron out the type of buses to be used in the project. Thailand prefers 24-seater coaches, while Laos wants 32-seater buses to keep fares affordable.

Mr Supoj suggested that both types of buses be offered.

He added that representatives of Thai Airways International (THAI) and Lao Airlines would discuss alternatives after the Lao Civil Aviation Department rejected an agreement between the airlines to increase the number of seats on flights between the two countries from 2,100 to 2,772 a week.

THAI already sold its tickets last month based on the 2,772-seat figure, so the Laos government's rejection of the agreement could have a serious impact on the company.

Mr Supoj said Laos wanted to promote its airline, which has a 23% market share compared to THAI's 77%.

THAI wanted to increase the number of weekly seats allowed because it was replacing its Boeing aircraft with larger Airbuses.

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oh my god!
they just spent millions to build railway on the current bridge, and now, they want to make a new bridge?

why not, but what a loss of money!!!!
They should have build the new bridge first, and then the railway!

Anyway, where do they exactly plan to build the new bridge? there is not so much place left in this city.

And what about the link with the north railway/chinese project?
The canceled project planned 3 stations between Thanaleng and Vientiane.
How is the chinese project? will thanaleng remain the only station near Vientiane, or do they plan to build a station closer to center city? if yes, where exactly?

and just to be sure i clearly understand : the north/chinese project will link the south/thai railway in the current station of thanaleng, right? I hope thanaleng will not remain a end station for Thai line and the new line will get new station somewhere else....

does anyone have a map of this project?

-- Edited by paris_vientiane on Monday 8th of November 2010 10:44:42 AM

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