Asia Business Channel

Thailand-China High-speed rail construction to start in 2019.

The construction of the Thailand - China high-speed railway between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand is expected to begin in early 2019, following construction bids later this year.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand’s Minister of Transportation, who co-chaired the recent, 24th meeting of the Joint Committee on Thailand-China Cooperation on Rail Projects, said that the construction of the main sections of the first phase of the high-speed rail from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima will start in March 2019.

The 253-km route between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima is divided into 14 sections, two of which are considered minor sections located in the northeastern province, including an initial 3.5-km-long section. These sections had construction begin in 2017.

Of the 12 main sections, six sections will be open to bidding this September with construction on these sections scheduled to begin in March 2019.The additional six sections will be open to bidding in November, followed by construction on these sections scheduled to begin in April 2019.

Related to the 350-km high-speed rail between Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai, which is facing the Laotian capital of Vientiane, China’s role will be as consultants related to feasibility and design, with construction of the railway to be done by Thailand. Both the feasibility study and design plans are scheduled to be finished by the end of 2018, so that the construction can begin in 2019.

Transportation Minister Termpittayapaisith said that Thailand will work hard to make both phases of the high-speed rail from Bangkok to Nong Khai, operational at the same time.  In order to execute the rail project, which is designed to link southern China with Thailand through Laos, an additional bridge will be built across the Mekong River to accommodate the high-speed railway.
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