Lao Railway Progress

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Laan Yaa Mo
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » February 20, 2019, 3:40 am

Oh, they are crafty alright and tough. They are certainly more difficult to deal with for the Chinese than many other nations. And, the people of Burma realise just how tough the Tatmadaw is. Burmese people like to read and they will tell you that Orwell wrote a triology about Burma: Burmese Days, Animal Farm and 1984.


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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » March 6, 2019, 11:13 am

the real deal or just bombast? My speculation was and is that the Thai government will not want to have the Lao-Chinese railway from Kunming to Vientiane with a railhead sitting across the Mekong waiting forlornly for the linkup with Thailand. The Lao railway is scheduled to be fully operational by December 2021. Will we see a flurry of activity starting soon on the Thai side???? . https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... in-4-years
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » March 6, 2019, 11:18 am

of course the article does show that the first segment of the railway down in Khorat is moving forward at blazing speed:
Construction is under way on a 3.5km section from Klang Dong to Pang Asok in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district, under the first contract worth 425 million baht. The work began in December 2017 and is 45% done...
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by parrot » March 6, 2019, 11:21 am

FrazeeDK wrote:
March 6, 2019, 11:13 am
the real deal or just bombast? My speculation was and is that the Thai government will not want to have the Lao-Chinese railway from Kunming to Vientiane with a railhead sitting across the Mekong waiting forlornly for the linkup with Thailand. The Lao railway is scheduled to be fully operational by December 2021. Will we see a flurry of activity starting soon on the Thai side???? . https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... in-4-years
We're into the 3rd month of 2019 already. I'm very skeptical.

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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » March 6, 2019, 4:54 pm

The stretch from Khorat to Nong Khai is a relatively easy stretch. Not too many bridges of note and no tunnels.. I would bet that with the appropirate motivation that stretch could be knocked out pretty easily.. The stretch from Khorat to Saraburi that goves down the edge of the Khorat Plateau would take longer I imagine... Anyway, note the article mentions another bridge across the Mekong to support the high speed rail.. If you see the Chinese starting to build that one you'll know things will happen quickly...
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » March 6, 2019, 7:21 pm

The Chinese plan to colonise Laos, and Thailand is proceeding nicely, for them.
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » March 9, 2019, 2:25 pm

not so sunny news on the Nong Khai-Bangkok high speed rail.. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transp ... tract-fees
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by rick » March 10, 2019, 4:15 pm

And only last week it was meant to be going so well. Normal service has been resumed!

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Thai and Lao Rail projects

Post by FrazeeDK » March 13, 2019, 6:25 pm

meanwhile unbeknownst to us, the SRT managed to complete their dual-tracking on their meter gauge line (NOT the new planned "high speed" rail) from Khorat to Khon Khaen and it was officially opened by the PM today.. the article states KK to Khorat travel time as one hour and 20 minutes.. I imagined eventually the dual-tracking will extend up to Nong Khai but see no construction or preparation for that last 110km section yet. https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transp ... er-numbers
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by the-monk » March 13, 2019, 7:08 pm

Hard to believe ... passenger trains travel time down from 3 hours to 1H 20.. freight trains travel time cut from 6 hours down to 2 h 30 min...number passengers will go from 2 000 000 to 10 000 000.
No timetable, no sign of new equipment...... What s wrong with this picture ?

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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » March 13, 2019, 8:54 pm

well, while I knew they were building the elevated portion of the dual track in KK and that they were working on the segment to Khorat I had no idea it was ready to open.. So, who's to say that SRT hasn't bought new rolling stock and engines that we don't know about?? I was looking at portions of the Khorat-KK railway on Skyscraper city and it appears that portions of the link are fenced off which would certainly allow much higher speeds since herds of cows and water buffalo wouldn't be wandering onto the tracks.. SRT did buy the new sleeper train well over a year ago that provides service between BKK and Nong Khai... It only received a little bit of publicity.. Of course, new equipment does not necessarily mean greatly improved service...
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by jackspratt » March 13, 2019, 9:35 pm

When I drove south in mid-January, there was a lot of work going on a couple of kilometres south of where the Khon Kaen bypass hits Hwy 2. There were big overpasses and bridges for seemingly no other reason than that was where the railway passed through.

Coming back, further north on the KK - Udon section of Hwy 2, I noticed some further big time construction going on, which appeared to be also rail related.

I wondered at the time if this was connected to the high speed rail, but perhaps it is more about the dual track that FDK refers to above.

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Lao Railway Progress April 2019

Post by FrazeeDK » April 26, 2019, 7:53 am

Two more tunnels bored through in northern Laos. Ahead of schedule.. Who knows, maybe we'll see the tracks right across the river from Nong Khai earlier than December 2021 which is the current projected opening.. https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/qwyw/rdxw/85870.htm
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » April 26, 2019, 8:55 am

It looks like Chinese plans for Burma are going to be moving ahead,

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/weakened-m ... apCOBCYkfC
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » April 26, 2019, 10:11 pm

looks like the Thai government is feeling they need to get the Thai side of the "high speed rail" kicked into high gear... https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/to ... with-china But, I'll wait and see.. Since the Lao side is scheduled to be finished by December 2021, they'll have to sign contracts and start building through Issan probably within the next six months...
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by TJ » April 27, 2019, 2:45 pm

In Laos, A Chinese-Funded Railway Sparks Hope For Growth — And Fears Of Debt

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/26/70709126 ... rs-of-debt

"Eyler says China is a new power player in Laos, whose government most likely found this influx of cash for much needed infrastructure projects attractive. But many wonder if the Laotian government has the ability to pay back such large loans.

"And it's not just the railway's debt that's of concern, but it's the accumulating mass of debt related to Chinese projects in Laos that have put the country very much on alert for ... overleveraged debt," Eyler says.

Concerns about debt are not unique to Laos. Many experts have expressed misgivings over how China is financing large infrastructure projects in developing nations. A 2018 report by the Center for Global Development identified eight countries, including Laos, among 68 potential Belt and Road Initiative borrowers as being "at particular risk of debt distress."

A Vientiane resident is not convinced. She does not want NPR to use her name for fear that giving an interview to a journalist will result in retribution from the Laotian government.

The Chinese government has claimed that the rail project would create thousands of jobs for local people, but many Laotians say they don't know anyone who has been employed.

Her concern about the railway: "Because we borrow money from the Chinese government to build this railway and how much the Lao people have to owe, and pay back. The debt," she says. "So I'm not quite sure about the benefits."

Feeling left out

As Laos is a tightly controlled communist state, there likely isn't much dialogue between the Laotian government and the public, Eyler notes. The benefits of the railway to the Laotian people haven't been well-articulated, he says.

Just seeing the way in which the railway is being constructed has given residents pause. Despite the Chinese government's claiming that the project would create thousands of jobs for local people, many Laotians say they don't know anyone who has been employed.

"All the construction work was handed off to China Railway Group, and Chinese engineers and laborers have descended on [Laos] in droves. ... Not even the Laotian government is clear on the exact number of Chinese workers in the country," the Nikkei Asian Review reported in 2017.

As a direct neighbor with ample access to the critical Mekong River, China sees Laos as a vital link. The China-Laos railway is part of a line that will eventually extend from Kunming, the Yunnan provincial capital, south to Singapore.

Chinese state-run media have published various articles claiming the railway is changing local lives for the better. But on the ground, residents have told journalists that thousands were ordered off their land to make way for the railway and aren't being compensated as promised.

Some people living along the path of the new railway see its completion as tantamount to a Chinese invasion.

In Luang Prabang, a man who did not want to use his name for fear of government retribution says he understands why people would like a new train. It's faster, cheaper and makes traveling easier.

"But I worry that when the trains are completed, there will be many, many Chinese [moving] in from China to live in Laos and they will take the job[s] from local people," he says.

He says even the promise of more tourists coming into Luang Prabang isn't necessarily appealing. According to the local tourism office, the number of visitors to Luang Prabang in 2000 was just under 102,000. In 2018, more than 755,000 tourists came to the city — an increase of more than 600 percent. And in recent years, the tourists have overwhelmingly been Chinese. But Chinese tourists rely on Chinese-run tour groups, stay in Chinese-owned hotels and eat at Chinese-owned restaurants, the man says.

"All the money go back to China, not for Laos people," he says."

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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » April 27, 2019, 9:05 pm

The same results apply to Burma. Mandalay has become a Chinese from Yunnan city, and they are the ones making money as are the Chinese in Yangon, Bago and the other cities. Some Rohingya still profit from the jade trade with China as mine owners, traders and slave (mostly Kachin) owners.
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by FrazeeDK » April 28, 2019, 10:27 pm

the Lao political leadership has been bought off. Laos will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the OBOR project within a few years...
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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by TJ » April 29, 2019, 9:06 am

This article sheds more light on China's plans for transportation and other projects in foreign countries.

"China's Xi Jinping Brings In More Than $64 Billion In Belt And Road Deal

Data from Refinitiv shows the total value of projects in the scheme stands at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

Initiative to recreate the old Silk Road is to deliver green and high-quality development.

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping on Saturday hailed deals worth more than $64 billion signed during China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) this week as he sought to reassure skeptics the project will deliver sustainable growth for all involved.

Xi said market principles will apply in all Belt and Road cooperation projects and that his signature initiative to recreate the old Silk Road joining China with Asia and Europe will deliver green and high-quality development.

"More and more friends and partners will join in Belt and Road cooperation," Xi said in his closing remarks. "The cooperation will enjoy higher quality and brighter prospects."

Data from Refinitiv shows the total value of projects in the scheme stands at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

Some partner nations have complained about the high cost of projects of BRI, which was launched in 2013, while some western governments view it as a means to spread Chinese influence abroad, saddling poor countries with unsustainable debt.

China said this week it will establish a framework on debt sustainability to "prevent and resolve debt risks" as part of its efforts to allay such fears.

While most Belt and Road projects are continuing as planned, some have been caught up by changes in government in countries such as Malaysia and the Maldives.

China's state asset regulator said on Friday that at least 17 central government-owned firms, including companies such as China Railway Construction Corp and Mengniu Dairy, signed deals at the Belt and Road forum."

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3745345/posts

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Re: Lao Railway Progress

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » April 29, 2019, 9:36 am

Here is more evidence that the Myanmar-China relationship is getting closer,

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-ch ... ology.html
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