The government of Thailand is aiming for completion of the Thai-Sino high-speed railway project, linking Bangkok and Nong Khai, a Thai province on the border with Laos, by 2023, so that it can connect to another fast rail project in Laos, the Laos-China rail link expected to be completed in 2021. The route will ultimately connect with Vientiane, the capital of Laos, starting from Na Tha station in Nong Khai’s Muang district and passing over the new Thai-Lao friendship bridge.
Upon completion, the high-speed railway with an estimated cost of THB 110 billion (USD 3.5 billion), will reduce travelling time between Bangkok and Nong Khai to around 3 hours from the current 11 hours.
The project is divided into two phases. The first is a 253 km long section from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, while the second phase will cover the 355 km from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai. Work on the first phase has been divided into 14 civil work contracts. Under the first contract worth THB 425 million (USD 13.3 million), construction started on a 3.5 km section from Klang Dong to Pang Asok in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district and it is around 45% completed.
The second contract worth THB 3.1 billion (USD 98 billion) covers an 11 km section from Sikhiu district to tambon Kut Chik in Sung Noen district in Nakhon Ratchasima. It was signed on 6 March and construction is expected to start in April. The remaining 12 civil work contracts for the first phase are expected to be signed in April.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; Eleven Myanmar)