China-Laos Railway, a green corridor to open sooner


The China-Laos Railway is over 1,000 kilometers in length with 43 stations, starting from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in China, and southward to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. At the beginning of the construction, the project had incorporated the concept of green development. The railway was designed not to disturb Asian elephants while traveling through forests; to bypass local dwellings by building bridges. Tens of thousands of builders guard green mountains and rivers, protect myriads of creatures with “scientific and innovative” designs so that human beings can live harmoniously with nature.  


In a bid to preserve the environment and maintain the biodiversity along the line, China Railway Kunming Bureau Group, as the main constructor of domestic section of the China-Laos Railway, plant trees, solidify the slope to reduce water and soil loss according to the local climate,  vegetation status and regional culture.


There are 20 nature reserves and 5 scenic areas, and 3 other reserves. When selecting the railway routes, these areas were avoided to make an economical, green, and feasible plan.


Take Yexianggu station as an example; it is located in Jinghong City of Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture adjacent to the nature reserve of Asian elephants. The design of the Yexianggu station was inspired by the wild elephant valley. Overlooking the station, it looks like an elephant roaming in the rainforest.

Wang Junmin, in charge of the construction of the Yexianggu station, said during the design, with the coordination of local governments and forestry departments, the team investigated the distribution and migration patterns of Asian elephants. They extended tunnels, built more bridges, and set up fences to make a detour around the main activity area of elephants. Meanwhile, the construction was strictly adhered to environmental protection rules, taking various protective measures to minimize the impacts on the ecological environment. 

From North to South, many bridges had been built over the rivers, such as Yuanjiang Bridge and Lancangjiang Bridge. Overlooking bridges from the sky, they look like graceful curves.


At the Ganlan dam area in Jinghong city, the domestic section of the China-Laos Railway built an extra-large bridge crossing the picturesque Ganlan dam, reducing the land use, and keeping existing roads intact. The bridge's design considers environmental and water protection to mitigate the influence of construction on the environment.


At present, the domestic section of the China-Laos Railway is taking on a green view with verdant plants and colorful flowers all year round.

The railway construction took environmental protection into account. The railway was built to perfectly fit in the natural environment. As the opening date of the China-Laos Railway is approaching closer, a green corridor will be unfolding soon. (Photos were taken by Zhao Pufan, Jia Xiang, Zhang Jihong from Xinhua)

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(Editors: Ines, Rachel)

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