Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Thailand to construct $7.4B high-speed rail linking three airports

A US$7.4-billion high-speed rail linking three airports from Bangkok to the tourist town of Pattaya is set for construction in Thailand.

The public-private partnership (PPP) contract between the State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Holding Co. (CP Group)-led consortium on the THB224-billion high-speed train project was signed October 24.

Some Japanese banks have also agreed to partly finance the project. The Thai government approved THB117 billion for the investment, while the private sector will invest 117 billion baht.

Construction will begin in 12 to 24 months. The high-speed train project is expected to open to the public in 2023 and to help spur the development of surrounding areas and generate economic returns of THB650 billion, according to a report from the state-run NNT.

The railway spans 220 kilometers, connecting Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in Bangkok to Pattaya’s U-Tapao airport, enabling trains to travel at up to 250 kilometers per hour.

The rail system will be comprised of nine high-speed stations at Don Mueang, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnabhumi, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Sriracha, Pattaya, and U-Tapao, said NNT.

The high-speed line will also serve as a link to the Eastern Economic Corridor, an ambitious $50-billion scheme seeking to attract investment from industries like auto and tech manufacturing.

Chinese embassy officials said the new rail project will also play a key role in Beijing’s massive Belt and Road Initiative.

CP Group and 12 other companies were selected for the project by Thailand’s former military government. The companies had been in negotiations with state agencies since a new government came into power after elections in March but disputes about land transfers and the distribution of risks caused delays.

In early October, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirankul set a deadline for signing the agreement to start construction, threatening to blacklist the CP consortium if they failed to so.

Photo courtesy of NNT

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