Thailand and China have commenced an historic cooperation agreement in railway development when both countries held a ground breaking ceremony in Ayutthaya to herald the start of the construction of two rail routes covering a total distance of 873 kilometres. Wang Xiaotao, the deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Thailand’s Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith (R) also raised their hands during the Ninth Meeting of the Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation Signing Ceremony in Bangkok. At the Chiang Rak Noi station, an exhibition about the Thai-China railway development project is now displayed. A similar exhibition will also be shown at Hua Lampong station in Bangkok. At the exhibitions, visitors will have chance to see models of locomotive, carriage and engine that will be used in the project.
The Chiang Rak Noi station will be developed as the main station and the operation control centre. The station is also a planned site for the operation control centre of the ThaiJapanese rail development project. The Thai-China joint railway development project covers constructions of 1.435 metre standard gauge railways along two routes. The first route connects Nong Khai province bordering Laos, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Kaeng Koi district in Saraburi province and Bangkok. The other route links Bangkok, Kaeng Koi district and Map Ta Phut port in Rayong province. China will submit a feasibility study on the first-phase of project to the Thai Transport Ministry which will then be forward to the cabinet for consideration.
The blueprint for the first phase, covering a construction of railway linking Nakhon Ratchasima province, Kaeng Koi district and Bangkok, is 80 percent complete and the Transport Ministry is expected to kick off the construction in 2016. The second phase covers constructions of railways between Kaeng Khoi district and Map Ta Phut port and between Nong Khai province andNakhon Ratchasima province. Its design is now 50 percent complete and China is set to submit a feasibility study on this phase to Thailand early this year. (Source Thai PBS)