Thai-Chinese high-speed railway agreements near completion

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) anticipates the closure of the final chapters in the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway’s first phase, reveals Deputy Transport Minister Surapong Piyachote.

Spanning 251 kilometres and boasting a staggering budget of 179.4 billion baht, the ambitious project links the bustling heart of Bangkok to the vibrant cityscape of Nakhon Ratchasima. Divided into 14 meticulously crafted contracts, only two remain awaiting the stroke of the pen, said Surapong.

“Contract No. 4-5, tasked with the 13.3 kilometre Ban Pho–Phra Kaeo section in Ayutthaya, is on the cusp of fruition with a budget of 9.9 billion baht. Pending only the completion of a heritage impact assessment (HIA) report on the proposed Ayutthaya station.”

Surapong reveals further that the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy is poised to submit the HIA report to Unesco imminently.

“Approval is anticipated, given the scrutiny by the UN agency throughout the HIA process. The railway and station, strategically planned away from Ayutthaya’s World Heritage site, should encounter no hurdles.”

Meanwhile, Contract No. 4-1 hangs in the balance, tethered to a 15.2-kilometre segment between Bang Sue and Don Muang in Bangkok. Originally envisioned as part of the high-speed railway network linking three major airports, its fate rests on the Board of Investment’s (BoI) impending decision, reported Bangkok Post.

“Without BoI’s green light by May 22, alternative routes beckon. SRT might seize the reins solely for the Bang Sue-Don Muang stretch, a crucial lifeline to salvage the project’s punctuality.”

Amidst delays plaguing the venture since its 2015 inception, the finish line now glimmers on the horizon: 2028.

In related news, a replica of China’s Fuxing bullet train, bedecked in Thailand’s national colours and gifted during the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok in November 2022, now finds itself at the epicentre of a transformative railway saga between China and Thailand.

As the wheels of progress turn, the construction of the China-Thailand Railway, a flagship venture under the Belt and Road cooperation framework, gains pace, promising to redefine Southeast Asia’s transportation landscape with cutting-edge rail technology.

Thailand NewsTransport News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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