Sino-Thai JV to build high-speed train in Thailand

Construction News

Sino-Thai JV to build high-speed train in Thailand

A Sino-Thai proposal for a high-speed train from the Northeast to the South via Bangkok is expected to go to Thai Cabinet Tuesday (August 31) for in-principle approval.

Supa Piyajitti, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said last week the concept of jointly developing a high-speed train had been mooted for a long time.

The office was now ready to set a timeframe to consider in detail the legal, investment, value, equipment and supply aspects, she said.

The Cabinet had approved an ad-hoc committee chaired by PM’s secretary Korbsak Saphavasu to study the feasibility of establishing a Sino-Thai joint venture to construct a 1,800-kilometre, standard-gauge railway from Nong Khai in the Northeast to the South via Bangkok.

The project has been estimated to cost about Bt500 billion (US$15.98 billion).

The timeframe for setting up the joint venture would be put up for approval from the Cabinet first, probably Tuesday, and then the House of Representatives, she said.

Many options of the joint venture establishment were already set, but could not be revealed, she said.

The government has given priority to railway system development as it could help make mass transit quicker and safer and also reduce transport and logistics costs, she said.

Following the direction set by the government, railway development in the future would focus on the existing one-metre-gauge railways. A budget of Bt170 billion has been approved for this.

The next phase would be to improve the efficiency of mass transit and transport logistics both locally and internationally.

The Transport Ministry and State Railway of Thailand would study double-track railways, neighbouring linkages and standard gauge, as well as high-speed trains.

China had poured huge money in its rail system and links with other domestic and international transport networks, she said, including technology, route planning, invest-ment structure and management.

Thailand should take advantage of this, she said.


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