TRACKLAYING has begun on a 46.9km section of the new line between China and Vietnam. The line will run from Fangchenggang to Dongxing on the Vietnamese border in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.

Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reports that a tracklaying machine has installed a 500m-long section of track. The new line will initially be operated at up to 200km/h, with plans to upgrade this to 250km/h in future.

The line will make travel between the Beibu Gulf economic zone, the Greater Bay Area and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) markets easier and faster, including reducing the journey time between Fangchenggang and Dongxing from 60 minutes to 20 minutes and connecting Dongxing to China’s 42,000km high-speed network.

Tracklaying is due to be completed by the end of September and the new line could enter service by the end of December.

The China - Laos Railway is currently China's main rail connection with the Asean region, and the line has carried 19 million passengers and 23 million tonnes of freight in its first 20 months of operation. China Railways (CR) announced last month that travel times on the line had been reduced by an hour following improvements to the customs process that reduces processing times from three hours to two.

In November 2022, China and Vietnam announced a joint initiative to upgrade the Lao Cai - Hanoi - Haiphong line.

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