Thanaleng railway station

Thanaleng station, also known as Dongphosy station (Ban Dong Phosy in Lao), is a railway station in Dongphosy village, Hadxayfong District, Vientiane Prefecture, Laos. It is 20 km (12 mi) east of the Lao capital city of Vientiane and 4 km (2.5 mi) north of the Lao-Thai border on the Mekong River. The station opened on 5 March 2009, becoming part of the first international railway link serving Laos.[1] Originally intended for use as a passenger station, Lao officials have stated their intention to convert it to a rail freight terminal to provide a low-cost alternative to road freight, the main mode of transport for goods entering Thailand.[2] The station provides a connection between Vientiane and the capital cities of three other ASEAN nations: Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and several major Southeast Asian ports.[1][3][4]

Thanaleng

ທ່ານາແລ້ງ
Thanaleng Train Station Vientiane.jpg
Other namesDongphosy
LocationDongphosy village, Hadxayfong District
Vientiane Prefecture
Laos
Owned byState Railway of Thailand
Operated byState Railway of Thailand
Line(s)Nong Khai Main Line
Platforms2
Tracks5
Construction
Structure typeAt-grade
ParkingYes
Other information
Station codeลล
History
Opened5 March 2009 (2009-03-05)
Passengers
2,500 - 3,000 daily
Services
Preceding station Emblem of the State Railway of Thailand.svg State Railway of Thailand Following station
Nong Khai
towards Bangkok
Northeastern Line Terminus
Location
Thanaleng station is located in Laos
Thanaleng station
Thanaleng station
Thanaleng station in Laos

HistoryEdit

On 20 March 2004, an agreement between the Thai and Lao governments was signed to extend the State Railway of Thailand's Northeastern Line from a junction just south of Nong Khai to Thanaleng, a town on the Lao side of the Mekong. The Thai government agreed to finance the line through a combination of grants and loans.[5] The estimated cost of the Nong Khai–Thanaleng line was US$6.2 million, of which 70% was financed by Thai loans.[4] Construction formally began on 19 January 2007,[6] and test trains began running on 4 July 2008.[5] Formal inauguration occurred on 5 March 2009.[7] Thanaleng Station is the only station of the Bangkok–Thanaleng rail route on the Lao side of the border. The former terminus at Nong Khai and the spur to it was abandoned. Before the construction of the railway across the Friendship Bridge passengers had to cross the Mekong by ferry. The remains of the former Nong Khai terminus are still present and are visible on Google Earth.

Proposed extensionEdit

On 22 February 2006, after the conclusion of a trilateral agreement between Thailand, Laos, and France, the French Development Agency announced that it had approved funding for a second phase of the Thanaleng railway—an extension to Vientiane. The cost of this second phase was estimated at US$13.2 million, including the cost of feasibility studies, infrastructure, and equipment.[8] A US$50 million loan was also reportedly received from the Thai government for the extension.[3] Construction was originally slated to begin in December 2010, and Lao railway officials had confirmed as late as September 2010 that plans would go ahead. The extension, which would have taken an estimated three years to complete, would have stretched 9 km (5.6 mi) from Thanaleng to a new main station in Khamsavat village in Vientiane's Xaysetha District, 4 km (2.5 mi) away from That Luang Temple.[3]

In November 2010, however, Lao and Thai officials confirmed that their joint extension project had been scrapped in favor of a new line supported by the governments of Thailand and China, which would pass through Laos. The project, which would link Nong Khai with the Chinese city of Kunming, would involve the construction of a new bridge across the Mekong, closer to Vientiane. After reviewing the project, Lao officials decided that Thanaleng station would be converted into a terminal for freight trains crossing over the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge; freight could then be transported from Bangkok into Laos at a lower cost than would be possible with road transport.[2] The Laotian section will be opened in 2021.

A version of the metre gauge extension into central Vientiane has however gone ahead, despite the standard gauge construction, and can be viewed on Google Earth nearing completion in the current January 1921 view of the city. The railway has been extended in a northwesterly direction for several kilometres from the former headshunt in the LLSE Container Depot north of Thanaleng station to a point in Khamsavat village as previously proposed, just 4km from Vientiane Central district and the Pha That Luang 'Golden Temple'. Also visible under construction on Google Earth is a large yard on the east side of Thanaleng station at the termination of the standard gauge railway from China, which is under construction around the north east of Vientiane. This would appear to be an exchange yard with the Thai metre gauge railway where containers can be transhipped. The alignment of the standard gauge railway converges with the metre gauge towards the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River.

FacilitiesEdit

 
A train stops at Thanaleng station

Thanaleng station is in a somewhat isolated area southeast of Vientiane, in Dongphosy village. Travellers arriving at the station must arrange their own travel onward into Vientiane, or use tuk-tuks or buses that may be stationed there to await travellers.[1] A transfer counter now operates at the station, where passengers requiring transfer into Vientiane pay a flat rate for transportation into the city, by tuk-tuk or minivan.[9]

Lao tourist visas are available on arrival at Thanaleng. Entry and exit fees are collected at the station upon embarking or disembarking.[9]

As of September 2010, an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 passengers were using the Nong Khai–Thanaleng train daily. Trains consist of two coaches, each carrying up to 80 passengers.[3] Tickets onward to Bangkok may be purchased at the station; passengers travelling through must alight the train at Nong Khai to pass through Thai customs and immigration.[9]

Train servicesEdit

  • Local No. 481/482 Nong Khai–Thanaleng- Nong Khai
  • Local No. 483/484 Nong Khai–Thanaleng- Nong Khai

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

References
  1. ^ a b c Andrew Spooner (2009-02-27). "First train to Laos". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  2. ^ a b Rapeepat Mantanarat (2010-11-09). "Laos rethinks rail project". TTR Weekly. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  3. ^ a b c d Rapeepat Mantanarat (2010-09-03). "Vientiane rail track on the way". TTR Weekly. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  4. ^ a b United Nations, Social Commission for Asia, the Pacific (2009). Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2007: Data and Trends (2 ed.). United Nations Publications. p. 134. ISBN 978-92-1-120534-3.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b "Testing takes train into Laos". Railway Gazette International. 2008-07-07.
  6. ^ "Laos link launched". Railway Gazette International. 2007-03-01.
  7. ^ "Thai-Laos Rail Link, Thailand". Railway Technology. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  8. ^ Saeung, Sopaporn (23 February 2006). "France okays Thai–Laos railway link" Archived 2012-10-08 at the Wayback Machine, The Nation.
  9. ^ a b c Overland travel to Laos. Seat61.com. 2011-03-06.

External linksEdit

Video

Coordinates: 17°54′11″N 102°42′35″E / 17.90306°N 102.70972°E / 17.90306; 102.70972