Laos enters era of online train ticket sales with new app

China-Laos railway tunnel Photo:Xinhua

 

Fifteen months after operation began, the China-Laos Railway (Laos section) is set to introduce on Wednesday the LCR Ticket App, which allows passengers to make ticket purchases via their mobile phones, bringing Laos into the era of online train ticket sales. 

The system, developed by a subsidiary of China State Railway Group – China’s state railway operator – marks a further step in the informatizaton process of the China-Laos Railway passenger business, according to a press release sent to the Global Times by the China State Railway Group on Tuesday. 

Since the start of operation on December 3, 2021, the China-Laos Railway (Laos section) has seen strong demand, with the daily passenger traffic exceeding 10,000 on most busy days. However, the train tickets are sold manually at windows and sales outlets.

 

The app, which has the advanced technology of China’s 12306 online ticketing system, is based on the laws and regulations of Laos, its cultural characteristics and user preferences. It also supports Lao, Chinese and English.

Due to the size of its population and its advanced and extensive railway system, China is home to the world’s most elaborate online ticket selling system.

During the Spring Festival period this year, the system was able to handle a peak transaction volume of over 1,000 tickets per second.

Tickets can be paid for via several methods including VISA, UnionPay, WeChat Payment and Alipay.

A manager at Laos-China Railway Company, which operates the Laos section, said that online ticket sales will greatly improve the travel experience on the railway as well as boosting tourism.

The LCR Ticket App is set to be available for downloading from 6:30 am on Wednesday in Laos.

Growing passenger and cargo volume has meant that the China-Laos Railway has become a promising route for international logistics.

Lao Ambassador to China Khamphao Ernthavanh said in a recent interview that the China-Laos Railway is an important project featuring win-win cooperation between the two countries, opening up new prospects for the socio-economic development of Laos and turning the dreams of people along the route into reality. The railway has turned land-locked Laos into a land-linked hub with freight train service bringing goods to countries including Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Singapore.

The number of freight trains in operation on the China-Laos Railway has increased from two to 12 per day. The categories of goods have expanded from more than 100 early on to more than 2,000, according to China’s Foreign Ministry on March 10.

The foreign trade volume handled by the China-Laos Railway reached 633,900 tons in the January-February period, up 320 percent year-on-year, China State Railway Group said on Tuesday. The foreign trade volume has exceeded 3 million tons since December 2021, the railway operator said.