China has completed construction of the 141km Yuxi-Mengzi railway line, part of the Pan-Asia railway network that will connect China to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

The new railway line spans from Yuxi, south of Kunming, to Mengzi on the route to the Vietnamese border, and is mainly intended for freight transport with a maximum speed of 120km/h.

The Yuxi-Mengzi railway line is a part of the eastern line of the planned Pan-Asia railway network, which also includes western and central lines.

The Chinese Ministry of Railways and the Yunnan government have provided funding for the RMB4.5bn ($707.4m) railway line, which passes through 35 tunnels and crosses 61 bridges, accounting for 54.95% of its total length.

After its scheduled opening by the end of 2012, the line is expected to improve freight transportation between China and ASEAN countries.

The Pan-Asia railway network’s eastern line will start in Kunming, capital of the Yunnan province, and pass through the cities of Yuxi, Mengzi and Hekou in Yunnan to link with Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Singapore.

The last segment of the eastern line will connect Mengzi with the border city of Hekou, becoming the first line to be operational in the Pan-Asia railway network linking China and Vietnam.

The new line will replace the 100-year-old, 854km Kunming-Haiphone line, which has a speed of just 30km/h.

Construction is currently underway on various sections of the western and central lines.