VIENTIANE, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Laos and Thailand have launched a freight train service across the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge between Lao capital Vientiane and Nong Khai province to facilitate import and export businesses.
An official ceremony greeted the inaugural freight train from Thailand, which arrived last week at Thanaleng railway station container yard in capital Vientiane, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
There are now two daily passenger train services between Thanaleng and Nong Khai stations, which carry an average of 35,000 passengers a year.
An official from the Lao Department of Railways said the train will operate daily services across the Mekong river, and about 10 to 20 containers would be shipped in and out of Laos, according to the report on Monday, adding that the freight train service is part of the transport and economic cooperation between the governments of Laos and Thailand.
Under an agreement signed between the Lao government and the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Agency (NEDA) of Thailand in June 2012, the construction for railway from Thanaleng to Vientiane station with over 7.5 km was signed on July 28, 2019. The work is expected to start in October 2019 and to be completed by December 2021, said the daily.
The departments of both countries have coordinated closely to facilitate the project, which is essential for upcoming China-Laos and China-Thailand freight services after the China-Laos railway to be completed by December, 2021.