First phase of double-track railway to be complete in two years


BANGKOK, Jan 9 —  Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said Friday he is confident that the first phase of the double-track railway project will be complete within two years, four years earlier than originally scheduled.

Air Chief Marshal Prajin said the first double-track with new 1.435 metre standard gauge tracks able to allow a maximum speed of 180 kilometres per hour running from Nong Khai to Khon Kaen, Keng Khoi, and Map Ta Phut deep sea port could be completed within two years.

Thailand has signed a memorandum of understanding with China  to jointly develop the project and, according to ACM Prajin, the first meeting with Chinese officials will be held January 20-22.

Another meeting will take place in February and designs for the project could be drawn immediately afterward, he said. He believed engineering drawings could be ready in August and by then the government would know the actual cost of the project.

The State Railway of Thailand will be responsible for train service and whether it would find a partner in future would depend entirely on the agency, ACM Prajin added.