Representatives from Thailand and China have agreed to begin construction of the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed rail line on the first 3.5-kilometer section within September this year.
Thai Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has held a discussion with Mr Wang Xiaotao, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, as part of the 12th Meeting of the Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation between Thailand and China. The minister affirmed after the meeting that both sides agreed to adhere to the plan to start building the first section of the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route this September.
The first section, with a distance of 3.5 kilometers, connects Klang Dong Station in Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima to the province’s border with Saraburi. Financial sources will include the central state budget and domestic loans. Details are set to be submitted to the Cabinet for approval next month.
As for the second portion of the route, stretching 11 kilometers from Pak Chong Station to Khlong Khanan Chit Station, Chinese officials reported that the softness of the soil in the area would be difficult for rail construction. As further discussions will need to be held on the idea of changing the course of the tracks, the deadline for plan submission has been extended from October to November.
The total budget for all four sections of the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route is estimated at 179 billion baht. China has proposed that Thailand seek loans in the Yuan currency at an interest rate of 3.2 percent, whereas Thailand has expressed its wish to obtain the lowest interest rate available, preferably at 2 percent.