Beijing to sign high-speed rail deal with Bangkok

Thailanda railways_13632754953706Beijing will sign an official cooperation agreement with Bangkok in early September to construct a high-speed railway in Thailand that will connect with a route to Kunming in southwestern China, with a groundbreaking ceremony slated to be held by the end of October, a ranking executive of the state-run China Railway Construction Corp (CRRC) was quoted as saying.
The planned railway project will cover four sections in Thailand, namely from Bangkok to Kaengkoi, from Kaengkoi to Map Ta Phut, from Kaengkoi to Nakhon Rachasima, and from Nakhon Rachasima to the northern border province of Nong Khai. The railway will run northward to connect another train route leading to the Laos capital Vientiane and Kunming in China, and run southward to connect a route to Malaysia and Singapore.
Zhu Xijun, general manager of CRRC’s Southeast Asian branch said that construction of the planned 867-kilometer railway will be completed in three years and will greatly benefit Thailand’s economic and social development. After the new railway becomes operational, it will cost only 3,600 Thai Baht or 700 yuan (USD110) to travel between Bangkok and Kunming, as little as one third of the cost to fly, while freightage will be only one ninth of the air cargo fare, according to Zhu, wantchinatimes.com informs.
Zhu also said the new railway will help Thailand bring in an additional 2 million tourists from China a year.


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