The Kunming-Vientiane Railway is slated to begin operating in 2021, five years after construction on the project officially commenced. The high-speed rail line will ultimately fit into the Pan-Asian Railway Network that China is pursuing as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Project supporters emphasize the economic development potential of creating another transportation link for Laos, which is a landlocked country with terrain that has long been resistant to rail infrastructure, but in order for the rail line to deliver the promised economic benefits, additional investments in infrastructure around the station locations will be necessary. This StoryMap provides an overview of the high speed rail project and explores some of the potential social, environmental, and economic challenges of building out the railway and related infrastructure. ArcGIS StoryMaps are web-based applications that combine narrative storytelling with integrated and interactive maps and other embedded content. StoryMaps are supported by Esri which is the global market leader for geographic information systems and a partner of the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker platform.