On Dec.3, The China-Laos Railway, a landmark project of high-quality Belt and Road Initiative, started full operation and the journey from Lao capital Vientiane to the China-Laos border will be shortened from two days to three hours, and travel time to Kunming will be slashed to about one day.
After the launch of the railway, the travel time and distance between Kunming and Pu'er City and the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture have been greatly reduced. It also ushers in a new railway age for the two destinations, contributing to the accelerated development of the 1-3-hour traffic circle between the provincial capital city Kunming and surrounding cities.
What impact will the operation of the China-Laos Railway have on everyone?
Let's listen to the comments of people who have witnessed the construction and operation of the railway.
Dr. Jaruwan Udomsab, a Thai scientist funded by the Talented Young Scientist Program, said, “The opening of the China-Laos Railway has brought great convenience. The railway enables Thai agricultural products, especially Thai fruits, to be transported to China very quickly, greatly reducing transport costs and allowing the Chinese to eat Thai fruit at a lower price. The opening of the train will also bring about new cross-border travel routes. I believe that the tourist routes from Yunnan to Laos and Thailand will surely become a sought-after one in the future. China's science and technology have developed by leaps and bounds. The country is also capable of making trains. It's great!”
Long Liqiong, Engineer of Xishuangbanna Power Supply Bureau of Yunnan Power Grid Co., Ltd., said, “It used to be a seven-hour ride between Xishuangbanna and Yuxi. Since the operation of the China-Laos Railway, the commute time has been slashed to three hours and the cost is low. I'm pregnant and about to give birth soon, so I am happy that my husband can come to Yuxi on Friday night to take care of me, and not go back to work in Xishuangbanna until Sunday.”
He Tianjin, Deputy General Manager of Xishuangbanna Jinhong Power Supply Bureau of Yunnan Power Grid Co., Ltd, said, “As a participant and constructor of the Xishuangbanna section of the China-Laos Railway’s external power supply project, I was extremely excited and proud to take the train from Xishuangbanna to Kunming and see the power lines and pylons provide a reliable power supply to the train's fast and steady motion. On the railway, I realized that for many people from Xishuangbanna, it was their first train trip, which made me feel more the strength and significance of the construction of the external power supply project. Recalling the hardships we have faced during the construction process, all efforts are well worth it.”
Wang Tao, Supervisor of Power Transmission Management Office, Kunming Power Supply Bureau of Yunnan Power Grid Co., Ltd. said, ”To ensure the completion of the top-level power supply tasks for the opening of the China-Laos Railway, the Kunming Power Supply Bureau, with the intelligent monitoring center in place, has adopted the ‘Monitoring Center + Grid Guard’ power supply mode. Through the intelligent monitoring device for important risk points of the line, we can learn the changes of the equipment and the line channel in real-time. In addition, by adopting the measure of the on-site grid-based guard, it is possible to quickly inform the on-site staff to take corresponding measures when the monitoring center perceives that there are construction machines in the line channel, so as to realize intelligent perception as well as a quick and efficient emergency response. This reduces human resource requirement by 300% compared with the traditional top-level power supply tasks.”
Fang Zhidong, Project Manager of Xishuangbanna Sixth Section of the China Section of External Power Supply Project of China-Laos Railway, Yunnan Electric Power Transmission and Transformation Construction Company, said, “I feel proud to participate in ensuring the completion of the China-Laos Railway. I remember on the first operation day, the local people commented, ‘our elder generations have been looking forward to this day, and I never thought our generation could see the dream come true.’
Despite all kinds of difficulties during the construction process, these words made us feel that all the efforts are worthwhile. After the operation, I want to take my family to experience the charm of the "Steel Silk Road" during the Spring Festival holiday.”
Zhao Tibin, Deputy General Manager of Xishuangbanna Power Supply Bureau of Yunnan Power Grid Co., Ltd. said, “Each generation has its responsibility. I am fortunate to be a participant and constructor of the external power supply project of the railway, and I feel extremely glad and proud. Therefore, after the operation of the China-Laos Railway, my family and I immediately boarded the green bullet train at 7:40 am on that weekend (Dec. 5) and we arrived at Ganglanba Station in 14 minutes.
After breakfast in Ganglanba, we took the children to the monument commemorating PLA's crossing of the Lancang River during the liberation of Xishuangbanna. Then, we took the train from Mengla back to Jinghong at 10:20. It took us one hour to get to Ganglanba by car twenty years ago, and 40 minutes thanks to the opening of the class II roads two years ago. However, it only takes us 14 minutes by railway now, which is really a constant time savings. In the future, we will cherish the hard-won happy life by dedicating ourselves to power line maintenance so that the green bullet train will keep galloping along the border of our motherland to better serve the people of China, Laos, and Southeast Asia.”
He Siyuan, Business Manager of Laos-China Power Investment Co., Ltd. said, “Before the train opens, it would absorb two full days to drive from Vientiane to Udomsai Province. During the construction of the China-Laos Railway power supply project, I had to go back and forth between Vientiane and the construction site many times. The travel time spent on the road accounted for half of the actual work time, not to mention the high safety risk as Laos road conditions are poor and most of them are rugged mountain roads, which have been in disrepair for a long time. In particular, the roads turn muddy during the rainy season. It is dangerous to drive in foggy weather, not to mention frequently drive side-by-side with large trucks. Since the opening of the railway, now it only takes 2-3 hours to reach northern Laos, which is both convenient and safe. I plan to take the train to travel through the mountains and rivers of Laos when the local epidemic is contained.”
Yuan Tao, Deputy General Manager of the second branch of Guizhou Electricity Transmission & Transformation Company, and Project Manager of the Second Section of the External Power Supply Project of Laos Section of China-Laos Railway, said, “After the opening of the China-Laos Railway, the economic and social development of Laos will be promoted through the "bringing in" strategy and ‘go global’ strategy. The improvement of transportation infrastructure will accelerate the industrialization and urbanization of Laos and attract foreign investment. At the same time, the new channel will drive Lao's people, culture, and products to expand their overseas presence and attract more people to Laos. I hope to visit Laos with my wife and children after the pandemic is controlled. I will take the train and tell them about the deep friendship between China and Laos, and that overseas builder are hailed as heroes in harm’s way and the loveliest people along the ‘Belt and Road’ route! I would bring some Guizhou products to visit my Lao friends, too!”
Chen Lan, Project Manager of the First Section of External Power Supply Project of Laos Section of China-Laos Railway, said, “Seeing the opening of the China-Laos railway, I was delighted and filled with a sense of accomplishment. I'd like to take the train via the China-Laos Railway to return to Muang Xai, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane in Laos, and visit the Pha That Luang and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. I'd like to have a look at the electricity supply lines that power the China-Laos Railway and visit Lao friends whom I have worked hard together. The future of the China-Laos Railway is promising. We can believe that in the future, the China-Laos Railway will bring positive changes to the residents along the line, including more job opportunities and faster logistics.”