AYUTTHAYA — Thailand and China launched a railway project in Ayutthaya on Dec 19, marking the beginning of bilateral cooperation to develop Thailand’s first standard-gauge double-track railway line.
A launching ceremony was held at Chiang Rak Noi Station in central Thailand’s Ayutthaya province, where the future Operations Control Center of the railway project will be located.
The two sides are collaborating in building a medium-speed railway line, using 1.435-meter standard gauge with trains operating at top speeds of 160-180 kilometers per hour.
The 845-kilometer line will link the Thai capital Bangkok with the northeastern city of Nong Khai near the Laos.
Construction will be divided into four sections, namely, Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi, Kaeng Khoi-Map Ta Phut, Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima and Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai.
The Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation between Thailand and China has so far held nine rounds of talks. Both sides are speeding up efforts with the goal of starting construction in May 2016.
On Dec 19, 2014, Thailand and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on railway cooperation under the Strategic Framework for Development of Thailand’s Transportation Infrastructure 2015-2022.