Thailand is proceeding with its plans to cooperate with China and Japan on railway projects to facilitate travel and enhance the efficiency of logistics in this region.
Deputy Government Spokesman Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that the Chinese government had proposed the development of a railway project, with medium-speed trains running at 180 kilometers per hour.
The project will consist of the Nong Khai – Korat – Kaeng Koi – Map Ta Phut route and the Kaeng Koi – Bangkok route, with a total length of 873 kilometers. The dual-track line will link with the Chinese-Lao railway scheme in the northeastern province of Nong Khai.
The Thai-Chinese railway cooperation project is expected to help reduce transportation costs and lead to the transport of more goods between the two countries. The joint Thai-Chinese committee on the project will hold its fifth meeting in late June 2015. The survey of the routes and estimation of costs will be completed in August. Construction of the project will begin in late 2015.
Major General Sansern said that Thai and Chinese governments shared the view that both countries needed to cooperate in railway development for connectivity in this region. The project will contribute to economic development not only between Thailand and China, but also in the region as a whole.
As for Thai-Japanese railway cooperation, Japan is interested in investing in a 574-kilometer railway project in Thailand, consisting of the Kanchanaburi – Bangkok – Chachoengsao – Laem Chabang route and the Bangkok – Chachoengsao – Aranyaprathet route.
It is also interested in launching a high-speed train project, with the "Shinkansen” bullet-train technology, on the Bangkok – Chiang Mai route, with a length of 670 kilometers. Thailand and Japan on 27 May 2015 signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on this project. Representing Thailand in signing the MOC was Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong.
Under the MOC, Thailand and Japan will cooperate in the use of Japan’s high-speed technology, which is recognized for its high safety standards. They will also work out the form of investment in the project and financial assistance, as well as the details of design and construction, and the environmental impact assessment. In this regard, Japan will provide technical assistance to Thailand in the form of human resource development.
Moreover, Thailand and Japan will also cooperate in developing transport infrastructure in the Southern Economic Corridor. They will improve various rail services, such as dual-track lines and the electric train system. Their railway cooperation will promote connectivity in this region, especially between Thailand and neighboring countries.