11 July 2024

Construction of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train between Bangkok and the north-eastern border province of Nong Khai is progressing satisfactorily, with the construction of the 250.77km section between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima province already almost 40% complete.

For the second section, between Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai, State Railways of Thailand (SRT) has recently completed the study and design of the project and it is ready to be submitted to the cabinet for approval, according to Sorapong Paitoonphong, deputy permanent secretary of Transport Ministry, in his briefing to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday during his field inspection of the project.

The Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima section comprises 181.9km of elevated rail track, 64km of ground-level track and a 6.4km tunnel. There will be six stations on this section, which are Bang Sue main terminal, Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima. The cost of this section is estimated at about 179.4 billion baht.

According to Surapong, the construction has encountered several problems, including delays in land expropriation, possible impacts on the world heritage site in Ayutthaya for the Ayutthaya station, a change in design from ground-level track to elevated track for certain contracts, requiring the adjustment of the environmental impact assessment study, and overlapping of civil work between this project and the high-speed train project connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports.

The project is, however, still expected to be ready for public service in 2027.