Delays hit Thailand’s high-speed train project

Construction News

delays-hit-thailands-high-speed-trainTravellers who were hoping the  Thai government would fast-track a high-speed train project from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will be disappointed by more delays in approving the project.

According to the Ministry of Transport it intends to submit project details to the Cabinet for approval in the next few months, PBS TV reported late last week.

Construction was supposed to start this year. It is now very likely that delays will postpone construction to next year.

Transport minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the project details were almost complete and by November, this year, the final report should be submitted for approval.

The 669-km high-speed train line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was first initiated by the Yingluck government a year before the 2014 military coup.

Thailand and Japan signed MoU to conduct study in details, and according to the MoU construction was supposed to start this year and be completed by 2020.

The project’s proposed budget of THB400 billion was revisited by the military installed government and major revisions were made to cut the budget.

The project will be built in two phases, Bangkok to Phitsanulok and Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai.

Japan proposed that the high-speed rail line should use Bang Sue station around 15 km north of downtown Bangkok as the hub.

It has been estimated that the high-speed train would cut the travelling time to six to seven hours compared with today’s 12 hours.

There are also plans to introduce improved locomotives and rolling stock to operate on the present 1 metre-wide track. That would possible reduce travelling time to around nine to 10 hours.


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