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Old September 6th, 2010, 03:19 AM   #101
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reallyl ike the new BKK air rail link
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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #102
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Govt to borrow $400m for rail development

Bangkokpost Published: 7/09/2010 at 03:55 PM


The cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal for the government to borrow over US$400 million (about 12.4 billion baht) from China to develop the railway system, deputy government spokesman Supachai Jaisamut said.

The loan money will come from the Export-Import Bank of China, Mr Supachai said.

He said $195 million from the loan money will be used for buying 50 diesel electric locomotives and spare parts. The locomotives will replace the old GE locomotives, which have been used for more than 45 years.

The government will spend $132 million for renovating the railway system between Phitsanulok and Chiang Mai and $80 million for Thung Song-Hat Yai route.

Mr Supachai said the cabinet also endorsed the Transport Ministry's negotiation framework to develop the rail network between Thailand and China.

The network will cover the routes connecting Bangkok and Nong Khai, Rayong and the southern border provinces.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #103
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Rail talks get Cabinet go-ahead

THE NATION Published on September 8, 2010


The Cabinet has approved in principle a framework for negotiations between the government and China on a high-speed-train project, which is part of a planned transnational railway linking China to Southeast Asia.

Because the framework for negotiations seeks an international agreement, it will have to be approved by Parliament before the government can settle down to negotiate with its Chinese counterpart.

However, the Cabinet rejected a proposal from the Transport Ministry that US$400 million (Bt12.47 billion) in export buyers' credits be sought from China to finance the railway project.


The Transport Ministry informed the Cabinet yesterday of progress in the plan to cooperate with China on the high-speed-train project. The project will have two phases: from Nong Khai in the Northeast to Bangkok, from Bangkok to Rayong and from Bangkok to Padang Besar, on the border with Malaysia. The transnational line will start from Kunming in China's southwestern Yunnan province and run south to Thailand through Laos and Vietnam.


The entire project, from Nong Khai to Bangkok and Rayong, and from Bangkok to Padang Besar, will cost almost Bt350 billion. The railway tracks will be built in parallel with existing tracks, but with a wider gauge of 1.4 metres, instead of the current gauge of 1 metre.


China's representative in charge of the project, Zheng Mingli, visited Thailand last month and met Transport Minister Sophon Saram. Together, they surveyed the Nong Khai-Bangkok route and held a tripartite meeting with representatives from Laos.


According to the Cabinet document, a preliminary study of the Nong Khai-Bangkok route says it will cover a total distance of 615 kilometres. The track will run through a tunnel of about 10km and will be elevated over a distance of 59km.


The high-speed train will travel at no less than 200 kilometres per hour. It will be electrically powered, and studies have shown that existing power supplies will be sufficient.


Since the railway will have to cross the mekong River, the Laotian representatives have requested bilateral talks first, so that Thailand and Laos can agree on the project before China is brought to the negotiating table.


Sophon travelled to China on August 26 for further discussions regarding cooperation on the railway project with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing. The Thai side informed the Chinese that the high-speed-rail project would be implemented from 2010 to 2014, and was regarded as part of a drastic reform of the Thai railway system.


On China's part, it will build a standard railway from Kunming to Vientiane, covering a distance of 420km. This line will then link with Thailand across the mekong River to Nong Khai before continuing to Bangkok and Rayong.


China says it is willing to provide support in manpower, training and technology transfer to the State Railway of Thailand.


The Cabinet has assigned the Transport Ministry to conduct a public hearing on the high-speed-train project, in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution.


The Cabinet was also told that during Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's visit to China in June, there were bilateral discussions on cooperation to build the high-speed-rail project.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #104
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Cabinet approves draft of Thailand-China negotiations to build high-speed train

วันอังคาร ที่ 07 ก.ย. 2553 BANGKOK, Sept 7

The Cabinet on Tuesday agreed to a proposed draft framework of Thailand-China negotiations to build a high speed train system linking China, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.

Deputy government spokesman Supachai Jaisamut told a press briefing that the drafted framework of negotiations was aimed at upgrading the rail system to pave the way for building high speed rail lines connecting the four countries of China, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.

The decision was made after officials from China’s Railways Ministry had explored Bangkok-Nong Khai rail route and discussed with senior Lao officials from August 18-24, Mr Supachai said.

Following a feasibility study of the rail development, the high-speed rail lines were expected to serve trains travelling at the speed of at least 200 kilometres per hour in Thailand.

The three high-speed rail routes in Thailand included Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Rayong and Bangkok-Padang Besar, a Malaysian town bordering Thailand in Songkhla province.

Meanwhile, the high-speed rail network connects existing routes in southwestern China of Kunming to the Lao capital of Vientiane, Thailand’s Nong Khai, Rayong, Bangkok and the Thai-Malaysian border town of Padang Besar.

Following the Cabinet approval, the Transport Ministry will conduct a public hearing on the rail development project and then will forward it to Parliament for further consideration, Mr Supachai said.

When parliamentary consideration is completed, the ministry will confer with Chinese government officials about the framework of negotiations for further cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.

In a related development, the spokesman added that the Cabinet also approved a plan to borrow US$400 million from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), intended to improve the Thai rail system.

The loan will be allocated for three projects. The project is to procure electric locomotives and spare parts aiming to replace 50 aging General Electric locomotives used for over 45 years.

The two other projects are to improve the Phitsanulok-Chiang Mai rail route and the Thung Song-Hat Yai line. (MCOT online news)
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #105
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Feasibility study next challenge

Bangkokpost Published: 9/09/2010 at 12:00 AM


The government plans to start a feasibility study soon on the first phase of a proposed high-speed rail link from Nong Khai to Bangkok.

Korbsak Sabhavasu, secretary-general to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban would inform the Chinese government of the Thai cabinet's decision over the next few days.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the framework of joint investment plans with China for three high-speed train routes. They are Nong Khai-Bangkok, Bangkok-Padang Besar and Bangkok-Rayong.

The first two routes _ 580 km from Nong Khai to Bangkok and 940 km from Bangkok to southern Thailand _ would cost about 300 billion baht. The 220-km route from Bangkok to Rayong would cost 20-30 billion.

The joint investment framework would cover technology transfer, appropriate routes and rail management.

Mr Korbsak said the framework is expected to go through parliamentary debate before the session ends in November.

Chinese rail authorities are expected to assist in the joint feasibility study, which is expected to take two months to complete.

Mr Korbsak said the high-speed rail project will require a 1.43 metre-wide standard-gauge track, which could be used by both normal locomotives and a bullet train.

The current track developed by the State Railway of Thailand has a width of just one metre.

Locomotives would run at speeds of about 200-250 km/h, while a bullet train is faster than 250 km/h.

Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum also proposed routes from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani at the cabinet meeting.

However, the proposal was turned down, as the Chinese government has shown interest only in the three routes.

More importantly, a pre-feasibility study for Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani has yet to be conducted.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:47 PM   #106
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Thailand's railway and tourism agencies launch boutique routes to serve domestic tourism


BANGKOK, Sept 22 - The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Wednesday jointly initiated a new campaign and a fleet of newly-renovated passenger trains to boost domestic tourism.

SRT Governor Yutthana Thapcharoen, presiding over the inauguration ceremony with TAT Governor Surapol Svetasreni, said the train improvements were meant for tourism and creating a new image.

Passenger cars ares equipped with new facilities including a TV screen, mini bar and karaoke room, while all seats are newly upholstered and more comfortable.

Around Bt3.5 million was spent for each car, Mr Yutthana said, adding that the budget was allocated under TAT sponsorship.

The renovated trains will serve five routes with tourism programmes organised by TAT.

The Tourism Authority governor said the campaign is one of several programmes to celebrate the agency's 50th anniversary with the objective of attracting tourists to travel by rail.

The five routes serve Thailand's five regions, and special tour programmes at each destination cover important attractions of each province.

The eastern route covers Bangkok, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri and Chachoengsao while the southern route begins at Bangkok going to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon. The northeastern route is between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. The northern route originates in Bangkok and goes to Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok and Sukhothai, while the Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom-Kanchanaburi route covers the the western central region. (MCOT online news)
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Old October 7th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #107
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Doubletrack railway to be in operation mid 2011

The Transport Ministry expects the ChachoengsaoLaem Chabang doubletrack railway to begin operation in the middle of next year.

The ministry's acting permanent secretary, Sorasak Sansombat, said yesterday that the State Railway of Thailand had completed about 60-70 per cent of the construction work on the 78 kilometre track.

Sorasak was speaking at the second public hearing on a study of development of the transport and traffic system.

A ministry source said that in fact, the rail project was sched�uled to be finished by March. Construction had been somewhat slow because of insufficient workers and some problems related to work on the tracks.

The 2011 transport and traffic plan is aimed at turning Thailand into the Asean transport hub to increase the country's economic role in the region, improving transport infrastructure and safety, promoting efficiency and cost savings, and ensuring equal access to the transport system by the public.

The plan requires investment of more than Bt250 billion, of which Bt140 billion will be spent in the first five years and the rest in the following five years.

The plan is expected to increase the proportion of rail trans�port to 4.5 per cent from the present 2.2 per cent and waterwaybased transport to 15 per cent from the present 14 per cent. It is also expected to boost the speed of trains to 90 kilometres per hour from the present 47kph and that of the cargo trains to 65kph from 35kph.

The plan is also aimed at reducing the mortality rate in the transport and traffic systems to 5,500 per year from the current 11,000.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #108
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:02 PM   #109
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #110
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #111
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #112
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #113
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #114
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Old October 13th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #115
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Old October 26th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #116
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Parliament okays basis for rail talks

THE NATION Published on October 27, 2010


The framework on Thailand-China negotiations over the development of the joint train system was approved in Parliament yesterday.


Transport Minister Sophon Saram said 295 parliamentarians voted for the framework, 10 were against it, 61 abstained and 21 did not cast their vote.


The ministry will have the committee overseeing the project talk to China about the matter.


The Finance Ministry will also do an investment study and hold a public hearing on the project. Sophon said the negotiations should be wrapped up by the middle of next year.


He said the talks would focus first on which routes should be set up before they go into investment details, which would definitely be on a government-to-government basis. The two countries need to talk about how much is contributed by each side and the sources of the funds. Sophon said China was expected to send representatives to talk with the Thai side soon.


Negotiations will take place at both ministerial and staff levels and focus on the joint development of five routes: Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Rayong, Bangkok-Padang Besar, Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani and Bangkok-Chiang Mai.


In August, Sophon and the ministry's management team visited China to study the train systems in Beijing and Kunming.


It was at that time that the ministry's permanent secretary Suphoth Sublom said China was interested in investing in a high-speed train for the Bangkok-Nong Khai route, which could be connected to the Kunming-Vientiane route. Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province, which borders Laos.


Construction of the 400-kilometre Kunming-Vientiane route will begin next year and should be completed in four years, while work on the 580km Bangkok-Nong Khai route should begin in 2012 and be ready in four and a half years.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 03:57 PM   #117
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SRT wins approval for Bt170 bn investment

By The Nation 22/11/2010


The Economic Ministers Council today approved the State Railway of Thailand's investment plan worth Bt170 billion, to procure new locomotives and improve the condition of old locomotives.


Transport Permanent Secretary Supoj Saplom said of total, the government will finance Bt152 billion and the SRT will borrow the rest with the government's guarantee.

SRT plans to buy 50 new locomotives and fix 56 existing locomotives.

"Coupled with the improvement in the rail sleepers, SRT's train speed would be raised from 30-60km per hour to 100-120kph," he said.

A budget of Bt24 billion is allocated to change wood railway sleepers to cement. Additional Bt19 billion is allocated to improve the 112 road-railroad crossing points.

On the pending joint investment in high speed train between Thailand and China, Supoj said within December both sides will discuss the joint investment plan and submit the resolution for parliamentary approval in January. He expects the contract signing to take place late February or early March 2011.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 05:09 AM   #118
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Thailand, China To Ink Pact On High-Speed Rail Project - Thai Minister
13 December 2010

BANGKOK - (Dow Jones) - Thailand expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government in late March or early April to begin a high-speed rail project, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Monday.

The Thai government previously said the high-speed railway will link Nong Kai in the northeast and the capital Bangkok, and from there to Su-ngai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province, which borders Malaysia's Kelantan state.

The rail line may be redirected to Malaysia's Padang Besar, a town in Perlis state, which borders Thailand's Songkhla province, Suthep told reporters after returning from a visit to China.

He said an adjustment in the southern portion of the route to Padang Besar would allow a proposed Singapore-Malaysia railway line to join the network.

Construction of the high-speed rail link is expected to be completed within four years after it begins in December next year, he said.

The value of the investment has not been finalized but the Prime Minister's Secretary-General Korbsak Sabhavasu said in August that the project may require an initial investment of THB300 billion ($9.98 billion).
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Old December 15th, 2010, 05:14 AM   #119
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China, Laos Plan To Start Key Rail Link
7 December 2010

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China and Laos will begin construction early next year of the first high-speed rail line between the two countries, a top Laotian official said, indicating progress in a project that symbolizes the growing economic ties between China and Southeast Asia.

Also Tuesday, a top Chinese official said China was ready to export and share its train technology, though he didn't offer details. The comments follow concern by train makers in other countries that Chinese companies are using tweaked or "re-engineered" Western technology to bid on contracts--an accusation Chinese officials deny. Foreign train producers maintain that selling such technology outside China would be a violation of China's agreements with them.

The bullet-train rail line will be completed by about 2014, said Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad at an international rail conference in Beijing on Tuesday. While the exact route isn't clear, the rail line is expected to connect the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming with Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.

"We believe this project should contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of Laos, as well as to the promotion of economic cooperation between [Southeast Asia] and China," Somsavat said, citing his country's landlocked status.

Speaking at the same conference, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said his country was also "looking forward to the prospects of connected rail networks in Asia." Thailand, Suthep said, is "determined" to see the project to its completion.

The long-discussed train route would symbolize the growing economic links between China and countries such as Laos and Thailand. China's economic growth and demand for both finished products and raw materials help shelter the region's economies during the global financial crisis. At the same time, the countries are increasingly rivals, as they compete with China to draw foreign companies as a manufacturing base.

Many of those China-Southeast Asia high-speed railways are expected to turn to China for train technology. China already has built a high-speed rail network that as of November stretched 7,531 kilometers across the country, according to the Ministry of Railways. By 2020, it said, China plans to expand the overall high-speed rail network to 16,000 kilometers. On Dec. 3, a Chinese high-speed train set a world speed record during a test run, breaking its own record set just two months ago.

Zhang Dejiang, a vice prime minister of China, told the conference that China is "encouraging" its train producers and other concerns to "go global." He said China is ready to "share its technological achievements" with other countries. He didn't elaborate.

Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KWHIY, 7012.TO) has said that it and other high-speed train producers disagree with China's claim that it has created its own technology. Most of its trains in operation today, some Kawasaki executives said, are almost exactly the same as its foreign partners' trains, save for a few tweaks to the exterior paint scheme and interior trims and a beefed-up propulsion systems for faster speeds.

A spokesman for China state-owned high-speed train maker China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp., or CSR, didn't respond to requests for comment. Previously, CSR officials and China's Railways Ministry have said the technology comes from China.

Still, CSR may bid with General Electric Co. (GE) on projects in the U.S., according to GE. GE is continuing to talk to the railways ministry about working together on high-speed-rail technology and about helping China bid for projects in the U.S.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #120
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Bullet-train committee focused on investment details

THE NATION Published on December 21, 2010


Thailand has yet to conduct a study on the possible macroeconomic impact of the planned high-speed-rail project to be jointly developed with China, a Transport Ministry source said.

Parliament recently approved in principle a framework for negotiations between the Royal Thai Government and the Republic of China on the rail project. One of the three routes to be developed first is between Bangkok and Nong Khai.

The source said the project steering committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had yet to set the guidelines for evaluating the possible positive and negative impacts of the project on Thailand's macroeconomy, which was very important to the country's trade and people's lives. Rather, the committee had poured all its effort into developing the project's investment details to lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

The source said the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Commerce Ministry and the Transport Ministry should conduct a joint study on the project's possible impact on both macro- and microeconomic aspects, including the consequence of Chinese goods being transported through Thailand to other regions via the new rail system.

"The committee is still just discussing investment details and the appropriate terms for leasing land from SRT [State Railway of Thailand] and the details of Thailand's shared ownership of in the project."

Recently, Transport Ministry permanent secretary Supoth Sublom said that in January the ministry would invite Chinese representatives to discuss combining the agreement into one MoU, which would be presented for the consideration of the Cabinet and then Parliament. Once Parliament gave the nod to the MoU, the ministry would sign it with China.

The high-speed-rail route linking Bangkok with Nong Khai will be 620 kilometres long. Its construction is expected to begin in early 2012 and be completed within four or five years.
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