THAI CABINET APPROVES SECOND HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY PROJECT

BANGKOK, Thailand Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved the second high-speed railway project, a flagship infrastructure plan to support the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor and to link three main international airports.

Nattaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser of minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, said the 220-km high-speed railway project will be conducted under public private partnership (PPP).

According to Nattaporn, the PPP contract term is 50 years, including five years of construction and 45 years of operation. The government will pay for the requisition of land while the private sector will invest for the construction, purchase of trains, employment of consultants, operation, maintenance, etc.

The government will invest no more than 119.425 billion baht (some 3.8 billion U.S. dollars) and will pay yearly after the high speed railway is fully operational, which is set in 2023.

The high-speed train will link Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports that both serve Bangkok, and U-Tapao, a yet to be developed airport to serve the Eastern Economic Corridor.

The Eastern Economic Corridor is the government’s flagship project for the development of infrastructure in Thailand’s eastern seaboard, covering Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chonburi provinces.

When completed, the high-speed trains can run at a maximum speed of 160 km/h inside Bangkok and 250 km/h from Suvarnabhumi Airport to U-Tapao Airport.

There would be five stations, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Si Racha, Pattaya and U-Tapao, inside the three provinces of the East Economic Corridor, which would boost urbanization in the region, Nattaporn said.

Source: NAM News Network