Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan has disclosed that Thailand and China have agreed to conduct a feasibility study on the country’s first high-speed rail project.
With Chinese experts surveying the planned route of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high speed rail construction, which spans over 745 km, it has been suggested that the railway should be constructed to support a velocity of 250-300 km/hour while focusing on passenger transportation.
The feasibility study of the project will take a year to finalize before construction can commence. The Bangkok-Chiang Mai high speed rail is expected to be ready in service by 2018.
The source of fund remains to be determined based on public interest whether it should solely come from the Thai government's budget or a government-to-government cooperation.
Under a total budget of 983.47 billion baht, the Transport Ministry has plans to construct 5 high-speed rail routes, including Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok-Rayong, and Bangkok-Padang Besar.