A new railway bridge is planned between Laos and Thailand near to the Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge which connects Nong Khai province in Thailand with Vientiane Prefecture in Laos.
Although the existing Friendship Bridge accommodates two round-trip train services in the morning and afternoon, the train crossing delays all vehicular traffic for at least 15 minutes each time.
Therefore, the governments of the two neighboring countries have agreed to construct a new bridge exclusively for rail traffic, situated 30 meters away from the existing link, with a 2015 completion date.
The Royal Thai Government has also agreed to provide USD$50m to support a 7.8-km railway extension link with the existing cross-border railway between Nong Khai in Thailand and Tha Na Laeng (image) in Laos with the Laotian capital Vientiane. This is expected to be completed by 2014.
The extension of the rail system will also include the construction of a new train station in Vientiane.