The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has hired a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study into a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Rayong.
The agency has agreed to pay Asian Engineering Consultants Corp 251 million baht to conduct a 14-month study of the 221-km project, SRT governor Prapat Chongsanguan said.
The scheme is expected to cost 100.63 billion baht and be launched in 2019.
Trains will travel at speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour on the new route, cutting the journey time between the two cities to about an hour and 15 minutes.
The consultancy firm will also study a possible extension of the route from Rayong to Trat province.
Construction of the Bangkok-Rayong rail line might begin before other planned high-speed railway projects because it is a relatively short route and will be built on land already being used for rail services, Mr Prapat said.
At least 39,000 passengers are expected to travel every day on the new Bangkok to Rayong high-speed rail line the SRT governor said.