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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Bangkok-Vientiane train service will start on July 19

The inaugural train service between Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Station in Bangkok and Vientiane (Khamsavath) will start on July 19, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) said on Sunday.

The first train to the Lao capital will depart Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Station at 8.30pm on July 19, with Deputy Minister of Transport Surapong Piyachote presiding over the launch and joining the journey.

Train No. 133 will cover the distance in around 11 hours. The journey will include customs clearance at Nong Khai Station and the destination.

The service route for the Bangkok–Vientiane train will utilise the Northeastern Railway line, branching off from the Northern Railway line at Ban Phachi Junction Station. The train will pass through Saraburi province, Chira Road Junction Station in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Khon Kaen province, Udon Thani province, and Nong Khai province before crossing the First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge to Thanalaeng Station and terminating at Vientiane Station, the SRT said.

The chief of the SRT Governor’s Office, Ekkarach Sriarayanpong, said that the railway authority had held a meeting with the Lao National Railway to prepare for the opening of the train service. The discussions covered four main topics:

● The plans for the opening of the train service between Krung Thep Aphiwat, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, and Vientiane (Khamsavath), including a trial run scheduled for July 13-14

● Development plans for the tourism market

● Plans for advertising and public relations

● Enhancing freight transport capabilities between Thailand, Laos, and China

The SRT has also collaborated with the Lao National Railway to conduct trials and tests of the train service between Udon Thani Station, Nong Khai Station, Thanalaeng Station, and Vientiane Station, which were successfully completed on May 21, with no operational issues encountered.

This opening of the train service between Bangkok and Vientiane marks a significant expansion of cooperation between the two countries. Currently, train services reach only Thanalaeng Station. 

Full service to Vientiane is expected to provide substantial economic, trade, and tourism benefits.

Passengers travelling by air can now transfer to Udon Thani Airport and continue their journey to Vientiane without the need for other modes of transport, enhancing the logistics systems of both countries. 

The initiative aligns with the Thai government’s “Ignite Thailand” policy, which aims to establish Thailand as a central hub for tourism and logistics in the region.

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