Transport Minister asserts rail development going as planned

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BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 – Thailand’s cooperation with China and Japan on railroad development projects are moving forward as planned, according to the Transport Minister.

The Minister of Transport ACM Prajin Juntong has explained to the Cabinet that the cooperation projects between Thailand – China, and Thailand – Japan under the ministry’s rail transport development project 2015-2022 are proceeding according to plan, adding that he is confident that the projects will be completed within the designated timeframe.

The rail transport development cooperation between Thailand and China includes the construction of northeastern Bangkok – Nong Khai, and Kaeng Khoi – Maptaphut, a 973 kilometer railway line utilizing the standard gauge 1.435 meter track, allowing trains to operate at speeds of 180 kilometers per hour.

The Chinese rail project is aimed to serve passengers and accomodate light and high value cargo. The construction will be divided into four phases, with Bangkok – Kaeng Khoi and Kaeng Khoi – Maptaphut designated for the first two phases.

The construction of the first two phases is scheduled to commence October 2015 with a 30 month timeframe. The later phases, Kaeng Khoi – Nakhon Ratchasima – Nong Khai, will begin construction February 2016 with a 36 months timeframe.

The northern Bangkok – Chiang Mai High Speed Train line’s construction will be carried out in cooperation with Japan, using the Japanese Shinkansen train system on the standard gauge 1.435 meter track. The 672 kilometer high speed line will be capable of train services at over 200 kilometer per hour speed.

The Japanese train project will mainly serve passengers. The construction for the high speed line is set to commence in mid 2016.

Thailand and Japan is now studying the feasibility of the eastern line Bangkok – Aranyaprathet and Bangkok – Laem Chabang railway projects, to either use the standard 1.435 meter gauge system or the 1 meter gauge system that is currently used in Thailand. The eastern line project will be mainly designated for cargo transportation.

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