Thailand has decided to scale back its plans for a long-distance railway after disagreements over the $15 billion financing for the project could not be resolved.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith announced that the country would finance the project itself.
In 2014, a China-backed high-speed rail project through Thailand was announced to much fanfare by the country’s leaders. Since then the project has already been scaled down to a medium-speed railway at the insistence of their Chinese partners.
The latest revision to the plan will see Thailand build a 250 kilometer railway from Bangkok to the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, considerably shorter than the 870 kilometer railroad which was originally envisaged at the project’s inception.
The government now plans to finance the railway itself after taking issue with the high rate of interest on the loans being offered by Beijing. Thai authorities were also nervous about giving in to Chinese demands for development rights along the entire length of the line.
Beijing and Bangkok will continue to cooperate on the project, since the original agreement cannot be revoked. Arkhom told reporters that the railway will incorporate Chinese technology for signaling and other systems as well as rolling stock.