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Since to landslide problems around 2002 on the line north of Kiyen, Kunming passenger services only work as far as
Wang Jia Ying. Until 2004 there were 4 return trips a day, but now only 1 - 18:00 ex Kunming, arriving back at 20:25.
About 1 year ago all passenger services from Kunming Bei were ceased.
Since that time the Yunnan provincial government directed the railway to restart passenger operation due to the planned relocation in 2005/6 of the provincial government out of the evermore congested Kunming city to Chengong. This resulted in the reintroduction of the DFH21 hauled Kunming Bei - Wang Jia Ying local service, which services Chengong. The motorway to Chengong is already built.
Reportedly the line from Wang Jia Ying (gauge interchange junction) southwards to Vietnam via Kiyen and Hekou IS still open but only to freight traffic. This includes a local passenger service (!) running from Kiyen to the Vietnamese border at Hekou with 2 coaches.
The international service from Kunming - Ha Noi, originally ceased in about 2002 still does not run and is unlikely to restart any time soon, if at all. MOR have a few reasons to not want run the service. Previous there were operational difficulties with the Vietnamese national railway DSVN with DSVN occasionally, to save usage of its own stock, retaining Chinese rolling stock after working over the border, repeatedly returning the property late. The Chinese were ofcorse not happy with this occurring. There is also a road from Kunming to Hekou, so passenger numbers via the slower rail service would render such a service uneconomical. Not to mention the increased maintenance costs to keep the line in a passenger usage condition and to protect against further landslides.
So sample the French Railway in south east China while you still can.
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