VIENTIANE (Xinhua) — With its first 500-meter-long rail steadily laid on the subgrade, the China-Laos railway kicked off its track laying on Friday in the Lao capital Vientiane.
The rail is the longest one outside China in Asia and it was also the first time the CYP500 track laying machine has been used in railway construction in Southeast Asia, said Hu Bin, project manager of the China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group (CREC-2).
The machine has advantages of high reliability, strong compatibility, standardized operating procedures, and high laying accuracy, he told Xinhua.
The CYP500 can lay about 2-km tracks per day, exceeding the required average daily laying progress of 1.5 km.
The Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture based in Vientiane in charge of the construction and future operation of the railway, told Xinhua on Friday that the first track laying of the China-Laos railway indicates that the railway construction has entered a critical period of track engineering.
Since the commencement of construction in December 2016, Chinese and Lao engineering companies have overcome complex geological and geographical environments and resource shortages, adhered to quality control, dynamically optimized construction organization, scientifically allocated construction resources, and carried out environmental protection in design and construction, according to the LCRC.
The project construction has been advancing in an orderly and steady manner amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said an LCRC statement, adding that the project progress can meet the scheduled completion date in 2021.
The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The 414-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.
The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.