ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai-China high speed rail is a go
Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum said the government wanted to invest with China in particular, because the Beijing had been successful in developing high-speed rail routes in Laos.
"But we are not focusing on China alone. If other countries have better proposals we will consider them," Mr. Sohpon said.
He said the government might take about 4 to 5 years to study the details of the project.
Further studies will have to done to determine the project's feasibility and construction sites.
The high-speed rail network will be a government-to-government project, he said.
There were no prenegotiations between any parties, including the prime minister or deputy prime ministers, as that would violate the constitution, he said. As for concern about Thailand being bound to China following the negotiations, Mr Sohpon said there will be competition in the procurement process.
The joint venture would develop high-speed trains with an average speed of 250 kilometres per hour.
The three proposed high-speed rail routes, with an investment value of about 480 billion baht, are: Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Rayong, and Bangkok-Padang Besar on the Malaysian border.
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