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Thailand and China signed a MoC for Railway Infrastructure Development

The long-awaited and ambitious standard-gauge rail network linking Bangkok and the northeastern provinces is set to get off the ground early next year after Thailand and China yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on the development of railway infrastructure.

12 December 2016 Monday, 02:59

The plan is part of the framework of the Transport Infrastructure Development Strategy 2015-22.

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Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said after the fifth meeting of the joint committee on trade, investment and economic cooperation in Beijing that the MoC covers Thailand’s first standard-gauge rail network linking Bangkok and Nong Khai.

The network will be divided into two lines, Nong Khai-Nakhon Ratchasima-Kaeng Khoi (Saraburi)-Map Ta Phut (Rayong) and Nong Khai-Bangkok, with construction divided into four sections:

  • Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi
  • Kaeng Khoi-Map Ta Phut
  • Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai

According to Mr Somkid, Thailand and China also mutually agreed to begin the project with the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route as the first phase.

Construction for the first phase is expected to begin early next year, before the two parties expand cooperation to the second phase, Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai.

Mr Somkid said continued cooperation on other high-speed rail routes is anticipated in line with China’s signature One Belt, One Road initiative.

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