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China to invest billions on Thai rail lines to be ready by 2022

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China to invest billions on Thai rail lines to be ready by 2022

BANGKOK: -- The long wait for new rail system investments ended on Friday (December 19) after Thailand and China signed an agreement to build new tracks to fulfil Thailand's ambition to improve its hapless train system.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at Government House by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong and Xu Shaoshi, chairman of the National Development and Reform Council of China. The ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

It capped a visit by the Chinese premier who is the most prominent world leader to visit the country since the military seized power on May 22.

Mr Xi will also attend the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) summit in Bangkok on Saturday (December 20), along with delegates from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Under the agreement signed on Friday, China will build the country's first standard-gauge tracks on two routes. The first one will run from Nong Khai province to the Map Ta Phut deep-sea port in Rayong province via Nakhon Ratchasima province and Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi for 734 kilometres. A second 133-kilometre line will run from Kaeng Khoi to Bangkok.

The project will be carried out on a government-to-government basis with further financial details including the construction cost to be discussed, according to Thai government statement.

The lines will consist of 1.435-metre tracks that will enable trains to run at speeds up to 180 kilometres per hour, and can accommodate high-speed trains up to 250km/h in the future. The State Railway of Thailand currently uses the 1-metre gauge system.

The Xinhua news agency on Thursday (December 18) estimated the construction cost at US$10.6 billion (B350 billion).

Construction could start in 2016 and be completed in 2022, according to the agreement.

The two countries agreed that preparation should start as soon as possible. ACM Prajin said early this month that it could begin in February.

Gen Prayut has said that the new system will be built for normal trains only but did not rule out a plan to bring high-speed trains to Thailand in the future.

The train project is in line with plans to improve its rail transport and the country's ambition to be the transport hub linking Southeast Asia with China.

China plans to build another line from its southern border to Vientiane in Laos which will connect to the Thai line in Nong Khai

The train deal will foster economic growth between China and Southeast Asia, Yang Yong of the China Railway Corporation told Xinhua.

Gen Prayut will visit China on Monday and Tuesday. While there, he plans to take a high-speed train ride from Beijing to Tianjin, said government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said.

The two countries also signed another agreement on agriculture under which China would buy more farm products from Thailand. Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya signed the deal on behalf of Thailand.

Gen Prayut said before meeting with Mr Li that China would buy 2 million tonnes of Thai rice but did not specify the timeframe of the purchase.

Chutima Bunyapraphasara, the permanent secretary for commerce, said the two countries would hold talks in the future about deliveries.

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-- Phuket News 2014-12-20

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Those new rail lines will come in handy, when China officially makes Thailand a protectorate.

Easier to move the troops!!

Oh yea.

Q: Can't Thailand do ANYTHING itself? GEEZEUS.

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Lets hope these MOU have more substance than the ones signed with China by the previous administration, that's the ones that were never taken any farther than photo opportunities.

This rail will connect with the already underway line from Lao to Vietnam (hope I am allowed to include this link Mods) http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/asia/work-to-start-this-month-on-laos-rail-link.html.

In the future it is envisaged the same line will connect through to China with the BKK leg going all the way to Malaysia to connect with the double track electric system from the Thai border through Malaysia to Singapore that is at present being built.

Another leg to Burma is also on the drawing board.

However there needs to be proper environmental and health studies done and fair compensation for land taken for these projects, along with speculation in land along the routes made an offense.

Also needs to be intense scrutiny of all stages of the projects with clauses written into any contracts stipulating harsh penalties for any corruption for both the giver and taker.

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Has anyone seen a map with the actual routes ?

Two days ago we had

"After signing the contract, the joint committee will start surveying the routes and studying construction techniques and investment patterns."

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/785047-thailand-and-china-to-sign-dual-railway-tracks-agreement-friday/

That suggests nothing really fixed apart from general direction of the routes.

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Those new rail lines will come in handy, when China officially makes Thailand a protectorate.

Easier to move the troops!!

Oh yea.

Q: Can't Thailand do ANYTHING itself? GEEZEUS.

No, The Thai Government does not go looking for solutions, but rather, solutioins go looking for the Thai Goverment.

It connects Kunming with the rest of SE Asia. Should have been done years ago.

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Trust me, 180km/h is more than enough. And by the way - having 250km/h passenger-trains and 110km/h freight-trains on the same track is very very rare and would be complicated. Doesn't mix at all here in germany.

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So no Chiang Rai line then? Instead the rail line is going through Isan. No wonder they still think the Shins rule

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So little trade with China, why the train ? There will be alot of freight coming from China to the port and empty train cars returning to China.

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If they do BTS or MRT extensions I don't care where the money comes from,as long as it stop us from spending 5H a day in traffic.

Let's just hope the money is really going on rails, not in rulers deep pockets

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How in hell can generals make these kind of decisions?

Any kind of protest or opposition is not tolerated.

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