Transport in Laos

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This article concerns systems of transportation in Laos. Laos is a country in Asia, which possesses a number of modern transportation systems, including several highways and a number of airports. As a landlocked country, Laos possesses no ports or harbours on the sea, and the difficulty of navigation on the Mekong means that this is also not a significant transport route.

Contents

Railways

There is one short section of railway in Laos.

In January 2007 work began on a 3.5 km extension of the metre-gauge State Railway of Thailand network across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge to a passenger and freight terminal inside Laos.[1] Test trains began running on July 4 2008,[2] and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand formally inaugurated the line on March 5 2009.[3] Surveys are underway to continue to the line a further 12 km to Vientiane.[1]

Laos does not have any links to other neighbouring countries by rail, although a link to Vietnam's Ha Tinh Province has been proposed. All neighbouring countries share the same 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge, including lines in China as far as Yunnan.

In October 2010, plans were announced for a 530km railway linking Vientiane to Xishuangbanna, in Yunnan province in China.[4] COnstruction is expected to begin in 2011.[5]

A short portage railway once also existed on the Mekong river. [6]

Highways

In Laos, there are 21,716 km of highway, of which 9,673.5 km are paved, leaving 12,042.5 km unpaved. Driving in Laos is on the right.

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