Thailand: to launch high-speed system in 2015
The government of Thailand’s military junta approved a plan for the construction of a high-speed network calling for 18 million euro in funding between the start of construction and its estimated completion in 2022.
Funding modalities have not yet been disclosed, but the junta declared that they will be ready within a month. In reality, the first stage envisages a relatively contained top speed of 160 km, which can gradually be raised.
The project, which had already been drafted by the former Yingluck Shinawatra government, calls for a main tract of 737 km to link Nong Kai, at the Laos border and near its capital Ventiane, with Pal Ta Phut on the coast south of Bangkok. The project is part of a regional high-speed system (3000km) aimed at connecting China (Kungmin) and Singapore, through Vietnam and Laos, Thailand and Malaysia. A 655km branch will go north of Bangkok toward Chaing Khong, also near the border with Laos and the Chinese province of Yunnan, effectively creating a new axis connecting the industrial areas around Bangkok and the maritime port of Laem Chabang with the central and northern regions of the country and with Laos, Vietnam and China.