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Full steam ahead for the Thai high-speed railway

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PHOTO: CRRC Corporation

“CRRC has also provided subways and high-speed trains for the US, Argentina, Brazil and Singapore.”

Imagine getting on a train in Bangkok and being in Nakhon Ratchasima, in Thailand’s central north-east, within an hour. That’s what will happen when the first of the Thai/Chinese joint venture high-speed trains are launched. The construction for the Bangkok/Nakon Ratchasima link was started in December last year.

Bangkok Post is reporting that the high-speed technology is worth closer examination because a Chinese company is building Thailand’s first high-speed railway network and station. The investment from China, into high-speed rail links into Thailand and other local regions, is part of the Belt & Road Initiative, an ambitious large-scale investment into pan-asian infrastructure.

CRRC, a Chinese state-owned enterprise and one of the largest rolling stock manufacturers in the world, will supply the railway technology. The first phase from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima got under way in December 2017. Currently, the bidding for 13 remaining contracts is ongoing. Thailand’s first high speed train is tentatively set for a start in 2023.

Read the rest of the story from Bangkok Post HERE.

Full steam ahead for the Thai high-speed railway | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2

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Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2 | The Thaiger

The Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha has been acquitted by the Constitutional Court. Full story HERE.

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month.

The flights will start back up on Christmas day. Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces, well just about everywhere for that matter, have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers.

The money was meant to be paid to police who worked extra shifts during the lockdowns. The case was assigned by national police chief last month, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police in Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a misunderstanding, with the officer in question receiving a warning.

The rest of the investigations will be completed within 10 days.

Speed limit on Thailand’s highways to be increased to 120 kilometres an hour

The government has approved an official increase in the upper speed limit on Thailand’s national and rural highways, with the aim of improving traffic flow.

The new maximum speed limit of 120 kilometres per hour has been confirmed after the Thai Cabinet approved a draft regulation proposed by the Transport Ministry.

If you’ve ever driven on a Thai freeway or motorway you’d already know that much of Thai traffic already drives well in excess of 100 kilometres an hour and sometimes even more than the new 120 kph limit.

The new speed limit will be applicable only to highways with at least 2 lanes travelling in the same direction and traffic islands that have barriers. But the new speed limit won’t apply to buses and trucks.

“ASQ… Paradise?” TAT launches search website to find hotels for a “happy quarantine”

From ‘army intelligence’ to ‘fun run’ and ‘unbiased opinion’ we now have a new oxymoron to add to the English language, courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand… ‘ASQ Paradise’.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has put the two contradictory words together in its new promotion called “ASQ Paradise.” A new website was launched allowing users to search for alternative state quarantine hotels in Thailand for a “happy quarantine.”

The website features 107 ASQ hotels offering 2 week quarantine packages ranging from 27,000 baht to 220,000 baht. The website is available in English and Chinese languages.

Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon

The Chinese, like the rest of us, are mostly prohibited from travelling at the moment, but it hasn’t stopped them travelling to the Moon.

A Chinese space probe has landed on the surface of the Moon to bring back the first lunar samples in nearly 5 decades. Since the US dropped its Apollo missions to the Moon in 1972, the Earth’s only natural satellite has been a bit lonely.

The Chinese space programhas poured billions into its space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the Moon to establish an ongoing lunar base.

Chang’e 5 touched down on the near side of the Moon yesterday. It will spend a total of 48 hours on the surface of the moon before re-uniting with it’s mother-ship which will then bring the lunar probe back to Earth.

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Nakhon Si Thammarat hit by floods, more rain expected in the South

Caitlin Ashworth

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Nakhon Si Thammarat hit by floods, more rain expected in the South | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

Flooding in the southern province Nakhon Si Thammarat has affected thousands of residents with some evacuating their homes due to the rising water level. Heavy to very heavy rain is expected to continue in the South and the Thai Meteorological Department is warning residents in the lower southern provinces to beware of severe conditions that may cause flash floods and water runoff.

Flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the past several days has affected 16,709 households with 47,939 people, according to Governor Kraisorn Wisitwong. He says floods hit 351 villages in 15 districts: Cha Uat, Chulabhorn, Thung Song, Mueang, Phra Phrom, Ron Phibun, Tha Sala, Phipun, Nabon, Lan Saka, Sichon, Chalerm Phra Kiat, Chian Yai, Nop Phitam and Khanom

In Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Lan Saka district, a flash flood struck the area when a mass of water rushed down the Khao Luang mountain. Water levels have risen due to the continuous rain, causing the catchment area on the mountain to overflow.

Some residents in the Mueang district had to evacuate their homes. An American English teacher living in the area told The Thaiger she’s opened her doors to her neighbours whose homes are flooded. This morning, the water around her home was up to her knees. She now estimates the water is close to waist level.

Schools throughout the province closed. The Bangkok Post says the Nakhon Si Thammarat airport is open as usual, but the Thai Enquirer reports that most flights have been delayed. A local police officer told the Thai Enquirer that all major roads in the city have been closed.

So far, a total of 291,156 rai of farmland has been flooded, possibly damaging fish farms. In the Tha Sala and Nabon districts, 8 homes have reportedly been damaged.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thai Meteorological Department | Bangkok Post| Thai Enquirer

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon

The Thaiger

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon | The Thaiger

The Chinese, like the rest of us, are mostly prohibited from travelling at the moment, but it hasn’t stopped them travelling to the Moon. A Chinese space probe has landed on the surface of the Moon to bring back the first lunar samples in nearly 5 decades. Since the US dropped its Apollo missions to the Moon in 1972, the Earth’s only natural satellite has been a bit lonely.

The Chinese space program has poured billions into its space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the Moon to establish an ongoing lunar base. No Chinese have been participating in the International Space Station.

The Chang’e-5 spacecraft adds to a string of successes for Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space program. Chang’e is the name for the mythical Chinese moon goddess. The probe touched down on the near side of the Moon yesterday. It will spend a total of 48 hours on the surface of the moon before re-uniting with it’s mother-ship which will then bring the lunar probe back to Earth.

The unmanned Chang’e-5 probe will collect lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the Moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity, the first such collections since the 1970s when an unmanned Russian lunar probe conducted a similar mission. The probe is the latest venture by a Chinese space program that sent its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.

If Chang’e-5 returns to Earth successfully, China will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

The probe was launched from China’s southern tropical island of Hainan last week and entered lunar orbit aver the weekend after a 112 hour journey. The probe will collect 2 kilograms of material in a previously unexplored area known as “Ocean of Storms”, a vast lava plain of grey rocks and dust.

The probe will collect samples from the surface and drill a 2 metre deep hole to gather soil and rock samples from beneath the lunar surface as well.

Thomas Zurbuchen, a NASA official from the mission directorate, says the mission was no easy task.

“When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community. Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang’e 5.”

The Chang’e 5 flight is China’s third successful lunar landing. Its predecessor, Chang’e 4, was the first probe to land on the Moon’s lesser-explored far side which is perpetually facing away from the Earth.

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