The China-Laos railway has carried more than 440,000 tons of freight as of April 25 following the opening of seven freight stations between Lao capital Vientiane and Luang Namtha province.
Local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Deputy Chief Engineer at the China-Laos Railway Company, Vongthong Souphanthong, as saying that freight traffic had increased significantly in recent weeks.
Initially, freight stations were operational only in Lao capital Vientiane, Luang Namtha province, Luang Prabang province and Vangvieng in Vientiane province, but more recently stations have opened in Oudomxay province and in Kasy district, Vientiane province, followed by the opening of Phonhong station last week.
The Phonhong station in Vientiane province is set to become a major freight hub on the railway in addition to South Vientiane and Vangvieng stations, with these facilities being used for the export of goods from central Laos.
Most of the goods transported by rail are iron ore, rubber and other commodities. Agricultural products are scheduled for transport starting in July.
The rail operator is also planning to sell tickets for passenger travel online and at stations in the near future.
The China-Laos Railway is a docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy to convert itself from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.