Tracklaying has begun on a 46.9km section of the new China-Vietnam railway line. The line will run from Fangchenggang to Dongxing on the Vietnamese border in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reports that a track-laying machine has laid a 500-metre section of track. The new line will initially operate at speeds of up to 200 km/h, with plans to increase this to 250 km/h in the future.
The line will make travel between the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone, the Greater Bay Area and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets easier and faster, including reducing the travel time between Fangchenggang and Dongxing from 60 minutes to 20 minutes and connecting Dongxing to China’s 42,000km high-speed rail network.
Track laying is expected to be completed by the end of September and the new line could be operational by the end of December.
The China-Laos railway is currently China’s main rail link to the ASEAN region and has carried 19 million passengers and 23 million tonnes of freight in its first 20 months of operation. China Railways (CR) announced last month that travel times on the line had been cut by an hour following improvements to the customs process, which reduced processing times from three to two hours.
In November 2022, China and Vietnam announced a joint initiative to upgrade the Lao Cai – Hanoi – Haiphong line.