China-Laos railway makes progress with 14.5 km tunnel drilled.

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China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. has reported that a 14.5-kilometer tunnel has been drilled for the China-Laos railway dubbed Kunming-Vientiane, a 1,000-km railway that started construction in December 2016 and is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2021. The Duoji Tunnel was drilled in Mojiang County in Pu’er City for the China-Laos Railway, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, and is a major project built under the Belt and Road Initiative,. Construction workers tackled complicated geological conditions, such as the deformation of soft rocks and noxious gas, according to a project manager. The railway project is expected to cut traveling time between Kunming and Vientiane to half a day.

Also Read: Vientiane railway station construction begins, Laos.

By the end of July, all the subgrade earthwork, over 90 percent of the bridges and over 95 percent of the tunnels on the domestic section of the China-Laos Railway had been completed. COVID-19 has not only boosted the vitality of the China-Europe freight train service, but also stimulated both trade and railroad transportation volume between China and ASEAN so far this year, said Chen Yumou, deputy head of Nanjing branch of China Railway Shanghai Group Co. Because the cost of transporting rail freight is nearly half that of overland road transport and as market demand remains robust on both sides, cargo trains between China and ASEAN members-in particular Vietnam, Laos and Thailand-will gain momentum this year, said Xu Liping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.