Bangkok-Beijing High-Speed Rail: Bangkok-Vientiane Train Service To Be Tested in Thailand 

Thailand will launch a trial rail service between Bangkok and Vientiane in Laos on July 13 and 14, a key step in launching rail travel between Beijing and Bangkok in China. The initiative lays the foundation for a comprehensive rail network from Bangkok to Beijing.

The new service aims to connect Thailand with the existing Laos-China rail network, a key part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

With the opening of the Thailand-Laos rail link, trains from Bangkok will now stop in Vientiane and Kunming in southern China. Passengers can travel on a semi-high-speed service from Kunming to Beijing.

Given the mountainous terrain and the distances involved, it would take about a full day to travel the 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) of land, about five hours by non-stop flight.

The high-speed train currently operating between China and Laos has already reduced the time it takes to transport Thai goods to Kunming from two days to 15 hours, showing the potential of efficient trade routes.

Ekarat Sriaryanphong told the Hindustan Times that the new rail link would connect Thailand, Laos, and China and boost economic and tourism ties across the region.

Improving rail links with China, Thailand’s main trading partner, is a strategic move to boost Thailand’s economic growth. Thailand exported nearly $32 billion worth of fruit and rubber products to China last year. In contrast, China imported $65.3 billion worth of electric equipment and machinery.

Also, the two countries have strengthened tourism ties by removing tourist visa requirements. Chinese tourists can now stay in Thailand for up to 60 days, but Thai tourists can stay in China for up to 30 days.

A high-speed rail line linking Laos and Thailand to China is planned to be completed by 2028. The project will increase trade and tourism between the two countries.

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