Starting from Kunming in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the railway will travel south through neighboring Laos and then into Thailand.
Ultimately, it will extend all the way to Singapore, via Malaysia. Other branches of the network will reach into Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Constructing it will be a mammoth engineering task. It will require 154 bridges and 76 tunnels, as well as 31 train stations, just to get the line the 260 miles from Boten on the Laos-China border to Laos’ capital Vientiane. An estimated 20,000 Chinese workers will be needed to build it, with the completion date set for 2019.
Land-locked Laos will be transformed by the railway. A largely agricultural nation where the average annual income is a mere £720 and many people, like Mr Vue, live without running water or electricity, Laos lacks both industry and infrastructure.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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