The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) is set to launch a bid to procure three consultants to conduct feasibility studies on each of three routes of the planned high-speed-rail project.
Pranot Suriya, deputy director-general of the OTP, said the total budget for hiring the three consultants was Bt300 million. The three routes they will study are Bangkok-Phitsanulok, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima, and Bangkok-Hua Hin. The OTP is drawing up the terms of reference for the bid. The studies are expected to begin in June and take 14 months to complete.
The rail project is to use a standard gauge of 1.435 metres. The trains will have a top speed of 250 kilometres per hour.
The studies will also examine feasible project investments and whether the trains will transport both passengers and goods or only passengers.
A Transport Ministry source said Team Consulting Engineering and Management was expected to be one of the winners of the bid, given that it has experience and has won many consultation deals from the OTP in the past.
Pranot said the government had yet to announce how it will proceed with the planned Thailand-China high-speed-rail project linking Bangkok with Nong Khai and Padang Besar, which was initiated by the previous Democrat-led government.
He said the government would which of the two projects it would prioritise, pending the completed feasibility studies.