A 143 billion RMB project intended to connect China and Thailand with high-speed trains has been approved by the Thailand National Council for Peace and Order.
A source said the routes align with a proposal by China to link its lower southern region to Southeast Asia via Thailand, allowing the nation to extend its economic influence.
According to Soithip Traisuth, the Permanent Secretary for Transport in Thailand, the maximum speed of trains operating on the routes between Nong Khai and Map Ta Phut and between Chaing Khong and Ban Phachi will be 160 kilometres per hour.
She added that the high-speed train project will greatly improve the transportation network within Thailand, linking up the capital city Bangkok, key cities, ports, airports and freight hub centres.
The whole project costs around 143 billion RMB, equivalent to around 7,414 billion baht. The route between Nong Khai and Map Ta Phut will be 737 kilometres in length and cost 392.5 billion baht. The other route connecting Chaing Khong and Ban Phach will be 655 kilometres in length and cost 348.8 billion baht.
Construction is set to begin next year and is slated to be finished in 2021 as part of Thailand’s eight-year infrastructure development scheme. The group, led by the Thailand National Council for Peace and Order deputy chief Prajin Jantong, said that funding sources for the project would be revealed in about a month.
China Railway Engineering Corporation has allegedly set up a project department for the China-Thailand railway which has already begun preparing for construction of the China-Thailand high-speed trains.
[Images Via Money.163]
By Jennifer Hui