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Laos and Thailand launched the
first railroad connecting Bangkok to Laos train station at Dongphosy or Tha
Nalaeng, Hatsayphong district in Vientiane capital via Nongkhai
on March 05,
Mr. Bounnhang Vorachit, Vice President of Lao
and Princess Prathep Rassasouda Sayambourom Rassakoummary of the Royal Thai Kingdom, co-chaired the inauguration ceremony
of this first linking two countries together.
Also present at
the ceremony were Thai Prime Minister,Abhisit
Vejjajiva, and officials from the Ministries of Communication, Transportation
and Construction of both countries. Laos and Thailand agreed that the train will
run daily at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 pm between Thanaleng in
Vientiane and Nongkhai.
The fares will
be 50 Baht per person for those who use sleep-able wagon, 30 Bath per person
for the wagon with air conditioner, and 20 Bath for the standard wagon. The
train is not operational yet. There are
many issues, especially the regulations in operating the train service across
the border and immigration, which authorities of both countries need to further
address. Another factor is that Thai
authorities still need to request the endorsement of the Thai Minister Council
on all related rules and regulations as well as to complete the construction
the immigration check point at Nongkhai province in Thailand.
Despite its short distance - only 3.5 km long, by
spanning from Friendship Bridge to Thanaleng- Lao officials believe that the
Thanaleng-Nongkhai railroad will reduce transportation problems by at least
50%, which will be beneficial to Laos in both its imports and exports.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva confirmed that the
Thai government will help Laos build the 9-km link to further expand the
recently completed railroad into the city.
reported from Bangkok on 06/03/09.
translation by Buasawan Simmala
Listen to our audio files and read Lao
text for more details in Lao.