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Old December 23rd, 2011, 03:26 PM   #161
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Govt inks 70-billion-yuan swap deal with Beijing

The Nation December 23, 2011 1:00 am



Chinese VP Xi on three-day visit; hails relations with Bangkok amid US moves in the region

Thailand has signed a 70-billion-yuan swap agreement with China to strengthen trade and investment between the two nations, the highlight of a three-day official visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping seen as highly significant domestically and diplomatically.

Attending the signing with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday, Xi hailed Thailand's importance for regional peace and development. The swap agreement for 70 billion yuan, or about Bt320 billion, was signed by Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul and Hu Xiaolian, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.

Apart from its economic importance, the mega-deal puts an international spotlight on Thailand as a strategically important country as far as Sino-US political and economic competition is concerned.

Xi, the man expected to take over as China's top leader next year, arrived in Thailand yesterday on a three-day official visit to the Kingdom as the guest of the Thai government. Thai sources said Yingluck was paying personal attention to the details of his welcome, underlying the importance Thailand attaches to this visit.

The three-year currency-swap agreement was initially announced on Sunday. Thai exporters welcomed the agreement, saying it would help reduce costs and boost trade opportunities between Thailand and China amid slower economic growth in the United States and the European Union.

The measure will also help reduce the US dollar's influence on the global monetary market and increase the weight of other foreign currencies, since the US economy remains fragile.

More Thai exporters will trade under the yuan regime in the future, as now more than 90 per cent of the country's exports are transacted in US dollars, and that is costly for those who export to China and other Asian markets.

Experts see this as an attempt by Beijing to improve ties with its neighbours after Washington's unveiling last month of a strategic shift towards Asia, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese government has also announced that it will send 100 tablet computers for Thai students to use in a free trial. It will also grant a special loan of US$400 million (Bt12.5 billion) to the Thai government.

Xi was greeted by Yingluck at Government House and held bilateral talks there, followed by a dinner hosted by the Thai prime minister, according to MCOT online.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics including Sino-Thai cooperation, regional and international cooperation, and other issues of mutual interest to both parties.

Having already been congratulated by Washington for her election triumph, Yingluck received sweet words from Beijing. "It has been proved that the development of China-Thailand ties has brought pragmatic benefits to the two peoples and made important contributions to the regional peace and development," the Chinese vice president said.

"My visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral good-neighbourliness, enhancing strategic mutual trust and advancing pragmatic cooperation," he said.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding on the development of a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, a railway system connecting Asean member countries, and a complete water-management system, including cooperation on flood- and drought-prevention measures.

The vice president is the most senior representative of the Chinese government to visit Thailand since the formation of Yingluck's government. Xi is expected to visit rehabilitation centres and shelters in the aftermath of the recent flooding and will visit the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University.

In a written statement delivered at the airport, Xi said China and Thailand were good neighbours, partners, friends and relatives who enjoyed a longstanding friendship, China Daily online reported.

Since the forging of diplomatic ties between China and Thailand 36 years ago, Sino-Thai relations have continued to develop in a healthy and stable manner under the aegis of the two countries' top leaders and through the concerted efforts of the two peoples, Xi said.

The two sides have gradually expanded cooperation in such areas as politics, economy and culture, and maintained close coordination in regional and international issues, he said.

During his visit, Xi will also meet with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the heads of the Privy Council and the National Assembly of Thailand.

Xi had just completed an official visit to Vietnam before coming to Thailand, the last stop on his Asian tour.

http://nationmultimedia.com/business...-30172508.html
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Old December 29th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #162
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Govt to move on high-speed rail projects

Published: 27/12/2011 at 12:00 AM

The Transport Ministry has vowed to press ahead with a plan to develop five high-speed railway routes as proposed by the former Democrat-led government, Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat says.

The plan was approved by the previous government and endorsed by parliament.

The minister reaffirmed the current government's support for all five high-speed routes after an agreement was signed between China's Vice President Xi Jingping and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday for China to develop the high-speed train project to run from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisang said other routes would be added later. That the Bangkok-Chiang Mai line was given a priority revives hopes that the other four routes would still be developed. ACM Sukumpol said no objections had been raised to the original project to build five high-speed railway routes and so relevant agencies would start detailed discussions.

According to the minister, the 745km Bangkok-Chiang Mai route will cost about 230 billion baht; the 870km Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani route will cost about 180 billion baht, the 615km Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai route will cost about 200 billion baht, the 982km Bangkok-Hua Hin-Padang Besar (Malaysia) route will cost about 300 billion baht and the 221km Bangkok-Rayong route will cost about 70 billion baht.

Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning director Soithip Traisuddhi said a committee will be set up to study the details of the projects and will present them to the cabinet for consideration.

Ms Soithip said Chinese investors are interested in backing three routes _ Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Hua Hin-Padang Besar.

A source at the Transport Ministry said China wanted to invest in the route that will run from Bangkok to Nong Khai because just across the border from the Thai province, a Laos-China high-speed rail track is also planned to run from Vientiane to Kunming, the capital of China's Yunnan province.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...-rail-projects
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Old January 8th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #163
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SRT west line project.

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Originally Posted by TheWestWing View Post
[B][COLOR="DarkRed"]Update: January 8, 2012

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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #164
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Twin-track eastern rail link opens to connect Chachoengsao, Laem Chabang port

วันพฤหัสบดี ที่ 12 ม.ค. 2555 Photo

CHACHOENGSAO, Jan 12 - Thailand's eastern double-track railroad linking this province with Chonburi's Laem Chabang opened Thursday, and expanding the country's road and rail logistics system with a connection to the deepwater Laem Chabang Port.

Deputy Transport Minister Pol Lt-Gen Chat Kuldilok presided over the railway's opening ceremony.

The railroad will also support the Lat Krabang Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Bangkok, as planned by the ministry and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the deputy transport minister said.

The Lat Krabang depot currently handles some 400,000 containers per year. After the double-track railroad's opening, it is expected to serve 800,000 containers annually in the near future and up to one million within a few years.

The ministry will speed up other double-track railway construction links with the Chachoengsao-Laem Chabang route to support the transport sector.

On the same occasion, Pol Lt-Gen Chat launched a railway passenger car for handicapped passengers and travellers with wheelchairs, considered as a development of SRT services to serve the elderly and handicapped and as a part of the government's policy to support the quality of life of such groups of people.

The Chachoengsao-Laem Chabang double-track railroad covers Chachoengsao and Chon Buri provinces. It was built with an investment of Bt5.85 billion for a 78km length. From Chachoengsao station, the route passes through Chon Buri, Bang Phra, Si Racha terminating at Laem Chabang station. (MCOT online news)

http://www.mcot.net/cfcustom/cache_page/317329.html
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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #165
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Twin-track eastern rail link opens to connect Chachoengsao, Laem Chabang port

http://www.mcot.net/cfcustom/cache_page/317329.html






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Old January 14th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #166
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New Eastern rail line gets on track

Published: 13/01/2012 at 12:00 AM

A new 78-kilometre train line along the Eastern Seaboard linking Chachoengsao, Si Racha and Laem Chabang was opened yesterday to support the government's goal of reducing logistics costs.

Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke, who presided over the opening ceremony, said the new line will help to upgrade the national rail network, thereby increasing the efficiency of product distribution as well as Thailand's competitiveness.

The route can accommodate 32 trains a day, but that capacity could be doubled if more locomotives are added, he said.

In a related development, Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said the government plans to connect Chon Buri's Laem Chabang deep-sea port with Satun's Pak Bara facility in the Deep South and Dawei, Burma with dual-track trains.

The plan is aimed at promoting Laem Chabang as a regional transport hub, moving into the top 10 of ports worldwide in the next decade from 22nd place now.

Under the government's single port policy, Laem Chabang will become a regional maritime hub once the dual-track train is completed in no longer than 10 years from now, with shipments bound for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said ACM Sukumpol.

He said Pak Bara port on the Andaman Coast will be connected with Songkhla port on the eastern side of the peninsula, allowing transport time to be cut without the need to travel indirectly via the Strait of Malacca.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/...-gets-on-track
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:33 PM   #167
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State railway to finally account for assets and liabilities

Published: 23/01/2012 at 12:00 AM

The State Railway of Thailand, the country's worst-performing state enterprise financially, is finalising its first accounting of its assets and liabilities in more than a decade.

Prasong Poonthanet, the director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said that while the railway operator had the greatest losses among the country's state enterprises, it was technically solvent, with assets valued at considerably more than its debt.

But the SRT's finances have suffered from the failure to properly value and manage its assets, which include large landholdings across the country.

Mr Prasong said the SRT also lacked systematic controls and accounting systems, causing lost revenues and waste.

He said the SRT had no clear system to monitor lessees of its properties, resulting in wasted time and opportunity costs in cases of disputes or failure to meet contract obligations.

For 2010, the SRT reported a preliminary loss of 7.58 billion baht, with accumulated losses of 57.3 billion baht. Assets were recorded at 124 billion baht against liabilities of 85.7 billion.

In terms of key financial ratios, the 2010 accounts show a return on assets of -6.7%, with return on equity of -19.36% and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.19 times. Net profit margin was -56.34% for 2010.

The agency's poor finances stem in part to high operating expenses due to outdated equipment, heavy pension expenses and debt service costs.

Only half of the SRT's trains are considered usable, with an average age of 45 years for rolling stock and 34 to 37 years for its rail networks.

The SRT is also limited in its ability to price fares to match its costs, due to government policies aimed at curbing rail fares for commuters.

Efforts to restructure the agency over the past several years have made little headway, in part due to weak information databases and conflicting accounts.

The SRT's assets for instance show considerable discrepancies from its own inventory records, leading the Auditor General's Office to consistently refuse to offer an opinion on its annual financial records.

In any case, the government has earmarked 176 billion baht in funds for rail investment by the SRT through 2014.

The government also is in the process of splitting its operations into distinct business units, covering rail operations, asset management and maintenance functions.

New businesses meanwhile will be developed under 100%-owned subsidiaries, such as Airport Rail Link Co, which operates a light-rail system from inner Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport, and a company set up to operate the Chatuchak Weekend Market, a popular spot located on SRT land.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...nd-liabilities
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 06:26 PM   #168
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Legal changes needed to attract needed railway

The Nation February 2, 2012 1:00 am

The ambitious development strategy for the country's rail-transport system will need loans and private investment to make it work, so the government should move quickly to amend the investment law for public and private partnerships to reduce obstacles, a seminar heard yesterday.

The government should also firm up plans to attract investors to establish plants here to make parts and assemble trains to help reduce future costs.

The Senate transport committee had joined with the Krungthep Turakij newspaper and Nation Multimedia Group to host the seminar on the strategy for railway development.

Somsak Chotrattanasiri, deputy director of the Budget Bureau, said the government's master plan for the development of more than 400 kilometres of railroads would require a lot of money.

The government's mass-transport projects will need Bt900 billion, including Bt800 billion for 10 commuter lines, Bt60 billion for dual-track railroads and the rest for the high-speed rail routes.

The Budget Bureau will mainly focus on financing strategy and include regular annual expenditures, loans and private investment. The state will allocate funds for land expropriation and feasibility studies. The rest of the required funds will come from loans and private investment.

The bureau has to ensure that the budget can pay back the principal and interest of the loans for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). This year the amount to be paid is estimated at Bt9 billion. Next year, it will be Bt11 billion plus between Bt4 billion and Bt5 billion for mass transit, which will increase in 2016 after the completion of the Purple Line.

Railway development is crucial to cutting logistics costs and raising the competitiveness of the country. About 2.2 per cent of all freight is transported by rail. This is very low compared with other countries and results in Thailand consuming more energy.

Somchai Sujjapongse, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said the total investment for all transport systems, including road, rail, maritime and air, over the next 10 years would reach Bt3.6 trillion. Of that, 83 per cent will come from the annual budget and loans and 17 per cent from public-private partnerships (PPP).

The government will need to look for new fiscal innovations for financing, and not just rely on bank loans, Somchai said. It must speed up the creation of an infrastructure fund. It will need to amend the law on private investment to increase transparency and limit the obstacles that are sure to occur.

The State and Public Investment Act of 1992 needs to be amended, because it will take two or three years before the private sector will be required to invest. The Finance Ministry will propose a new bill concerning this matter or the PPP law to implement.

Prapat Chongsanguan, vice minister of the Transport Ministry, said the goal of developing commuter trains, rapid transit and parallel tracks had been discussed for 10 years, with little progress to date. This has caused Thailand to fall behind other countries in rail development.

Success depends on all parties agreeing that upgrading the rail network is beneficial for the economy and development of the country and that cooperating instead of raising objections is the way to go, Prapat said.

The private sector must be allowed to earn a return on its investments and must be reassured that the state would strictly honour its contracts.

The Transport and Energy ministers will invite the private sector to set up assembly and parts plants here so that the country can save on procurement costs, increase employment for local workers and gain from the transfer of key technologies.

Ronnachit Yamsaad, deputy governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, said that of the 10 rapid-transit routes, the SRT would take responsibility for managing six routes - the Purple, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink and Yellow lines. The Purple Line is 40 per cent complete and is expected to start running in 2015. Other lines are under construction and the remaining bids are estimated to be completed during this government's term.

The government should allow the SRT to manage at least one route to gather experience to oversee the other routes, he said.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/busi...-30174978.html
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Old February 20th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #169
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SRT aims to kickstart land use

Published: 20/02/2012 at 08:31

The State Railway of Thailand will ask the Transport Ministry to help revive its long-delayed plan to develop its landholdings for commercial purposes.

SRT governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said the land development project has made no progress until now due to restrictions imposed by the public-private joint investment law.

He said the SRT needs to include the private sector in its land development project, but the law does not allow business partners a free hand in designing a development plan.

The agency is required to create a conceptual design and conduct an environment impact assessment under the law.

"With this restriction, a business partner will have to follow the SRT's design. But the SRT believes it will be more practical to allow a partner that has expertise in land development to submit a proposal," he said.

He said the SRT will report the problem to the Transport Ministry and ask it to lay down a policy.

Mr Yutthana said the SRT has designated three plots for commercial land development _ the land around train stations at Makkasan, Maenam and Yan Phahon Yothin.

He said a number of proposals for commercial development of Makkasan station have been floated.

The SRT has also set aside a budget of 3 billion baht to pay for relocating the maintenance depot at Makkasan station to clear the way for land development, he said.

Soithip Traisut, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, said the SRT will refer the issue to her agency for consideration.

She said the office may create a working committee to find a solution for the SRT.

Meanwhile, Mr Yutthana said the state railway is expected to finalise rental fees for its stalls at Chatuchak Market this week.

The board is scheduled to consider the proposed rental fees today.

The SRT took over the management of the market from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on Jan 2 and has been allowing vendors to operate for free until the end of this month.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/poli...start-land-use
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 05:05 PM   #170
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Northeast rail project back on track

THE NATION February 21, 2012 1:00 am

The mobile Cabinet meeting today is expected to consider the rail project worth over Bt41 billion which will link Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakam, Roi-Et, Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom.

Pranot Suriya, deputy director-general of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), said yesterday that if the proposal is approved, the Transport Ministry would begin the project design and environmental impact assessment this year.

The study on the impact on property and the estimate of the land reclamation price would run from next year to May 2014.

Construction is expected to commence in 2014. If all goes as planned, the system would undergo an operating trial and the service would be kicked off in early 2017.

This project of building a new railway in the central and upper parts of the Northeast has been studied for 20 years. The Cabinet in 1997 approved in principle the construction of the 368-kilometre Roi Et-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom route but the project was suspended following the economic crisis at that time.

In 2005, the Cabinet ordered the Transport Ministry to revise the project, which was divided into four possible routes, including the route to link the five provinces.

Then the ministry hired Team Consulting Engineering and Management to study the revision, which concluded that the route is the most feasible.

It is expected to serve 5.4 million passengers and carry 255,000 tonnes of cargo per year when it is opened in 2017, increasing to 7.4 million passengers and 346,000 tonnes of cargo per year in 2036.

In 20 years the route will help the country save Bt56.5 billion or Bt2.8 billion per year in logistic costs and environmental damage from car pollution.

The project is estimated to cost Bt41.36 billion for land expropriation, tracks, stations, signalling and telecommunications systems and other work.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/busi...-30176300.html
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Old February 25th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #171
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Sino-Thai high-speed rail link put on hold for now

THE NATION February 25, 2012 1:00 am

Plan calls for joint study; Chinese official told Chiang Mai/Bangkok line a priority

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government for now has derailed a plan to construct high-speed railways linking Thailand to Asean countries and China, agreed in principle by the previous government, saying it will start instead with Bangkok-Chiang Mai as the first route.

The move coincided with an official visit by Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Chen Jian to Thailand yesterday. He was scheduled to meet with a deputy transport minister, a deputy commerce minister and the prime minister.

Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke said after meeting with Chen that the Chinese government had asked about the progress of the Sino-Thai high-speed line from the Northeast province of Nong Khai through Bangkok and on to the South. The Nong Khai-Bangkok route is to link up with a 480-kilometre high-speed railway in Laos and be extended to the southern city of Padang Besar, for connections with Malaysia and Singapore.

According to a source, the Chinese recently sent a draft memorandum of understanding on their investment in the scheme to the Thai government after the Abhisit Vejjajiva government sent their draft to Beijing.

Chatt said he had clarified this matter with the Chinese, pointing out that the policy of the current government was to make a high-speed line between Chiang Mai and Bangkok a priority, after consulting with Virabongsa Ramangkura, chairman of the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development.

Chatt said the Kunming-Vientiane-Nong Khai-Bangkok-Padang Besar-Malaysia-Singapore route was a cooperative project with Asean - the so-called Singapore-Kunming Railway Link. The Thai government had pointed out that it and Beijing should set up a joint working group to study the plan.

He added that Silapachai Jarukasemrattana, acting permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, had been assigned to head the Thai government's side, while the secretary-general of China's Railways Ministry would head the Chinese side.

"We expect the working group will take about six months to complete its study," Chatt said.

However, he said the Thai government intended to start construction of a high-speed railway this year. The Transport Ministry will also set up a new operational unit to take care of the project. Civil-engineering work will most likely be divided into many contracts in a bid to get the project completed faster. "The construction period is expected to be four years," Chatt said.

He said he did not agree with the current MoU framework, proposing that each government commit to equal 15-per-cent stakes in the project, while the remaining 70 per cent is covered by loans.

"Thailand considers that is has no obligation with China in terms of government-to-government agreement on the high-speed-railway project, as the two nations have not signed any such agreement."

He added that further progress on the project would await the proposal of the new working group.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/busi...-30176665.html
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 09:33 AM   #172
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Thailand Double Track Projects

Freight Train Speed: 80 kmph
Passenger Train Speed: 120 kmph

Current lines as of March 2012


http://www.railway.co.th/resultproje....asp?result=13

Bangkok - Ban Phachi Junction Railway (90 km)
Rangsit - Ban Phachi Junction Railway (61 km) Triple track
Bangsue - Tallin Chan - Nakhon Pathom (56 km)
Ban Phachi Junction Railway - Lopburi (43 km)
Ban Phachi Junction Railway - Map Kabao (44 km)
Hua Mak - Chachoengsao (45 km)
Chachoengsao - Sri Racha - Lat Krabang (78 km)

Total: 417 km

*Chachoengsao - Klongsibkao - Kang Koi (106 km) is under consideration of its environmental impact.

http://www.siamintelligence.com/doub...hispeed-train/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Master Plan


http://www.scribd.com/doc/47150799/S...ix-8C-Thailand

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.siamintelligence.com/doub...hispeed-train/
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GDP (nominal): 387,252 | GDP (PPP): 964,281 | HDI 2014: 0.722 (High)
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Last edited by Codename B; March 3rd, 2012 at 10:09 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #173
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SRT to reuse many pillars

Published: 8/03/2012 at 01:39 AM Newspaper section: News 0

The State Railway of Thailand will use a substantial portion of the abandoned Hopewell transit project to build its Red Line electric railway from Bang Sue in Bangkok to Pathum Thani's Rangsit area.

It will also use some of the infrastructure to extend the Airport Rail Link to link up Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.

Soithip Trisuddhi, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, said there were about 500 concrete pillars from the Hopewell project and the SRT could use 50-60% of them in the construction of the Red Line and the extension of the existing Airport Rail Link from Phaya Thai to Don Mueang airport.

Ms Soithip said transport authorities have yet to win the consent of the National Environment Board for the construction of the extended section of the Airport Rail Link. The board has rejected the project in three rounds of environmental impact assessments.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Red Line from Bang Sue to Rangsit cannot start because the bid winner, SU Joint Venture, quoted the cost at 31 billion baht while the cabinet had allocated only 27.17 billion baht for the project.

Jamroon Tangpaisalkit, deputy permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, said a committee would be set up to discuss the quotation.

SRT Governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said officials of the SRT, the Engineering Institute of Thailand and the Asian Institute of Technology would examine the condition of Hopewell pillars tomorrow.

He said each pillar could bear a weight of up to 1,000 tonnes.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...e-many-pillars
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Old March 9th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #174
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Quote:
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is this SRT passenger train for double track railway? It's fully electricfied?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #175
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No, that's a diesel locomotive.

Anyway, double track just means two tracks next to each other, one for each direction.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
No, that's a diesel locomotive.

Anyway, double track just means two tracks next to each other, one for each direction.
Oh ok, thanks.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #177
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Just another question, any electricfied train in Thailand?
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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #178
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Japan keen on investing in two high-speed rail ventures

Published: 26/03/2012 at 02:31 AM Newspaper section: News 0
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Japan has expressed interested in building high-speed railways from Bangkok to the North and the East, Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan says.


Mr Chatchart said a Japanese minister had informed him of Tokyo's interest in developing high-speed railways from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Rayong. The Chiang Mai link would be 700 km long and should cost about 400 billion baht to build, while the 200km line to Rayong would cost about 170 billion baht.

He said Japan had suggested using the Airport Rail Link system that runs from inner Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi airport as part of the east-bound high-speed railway. Japanese authorities will present details of their proposal to the Transport Ministry.

"Japan is interested in high-speed railway development on the two routes, which are Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Bangkok to Rayong, and expects trains to run at 250kph," Mr Chatchart said.

"Japan will study the plan in detail to find ways to minimise the construction costs for Thailand."

Thailand already plans to build high-speed railways to the northeastern province of Nong Khai and the southern tourist destination of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Mr Chatchart said that the high-speed railway projects would help develop Thai human resources and technology, improve Thais' quality of life, stimulate spending and expand the national economy.

"If you look only at their costs, high-speed railway projects may not be realised. But if you consider the overall benefits to the national economy, we must build them," Mr Chatchart said.

"My only concern is environmental impact assessments that may take time."

Chatt Kuldiloke, another deputy transport minister, confirmed that high-speed railways would certainly emerge in Thailand as many countries were interested in helping develop them.

He expects studies on the projects, including design, to start in six months and a bidding contest to select a contractor will be held later this year or early next year.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...-rail-ventures
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Old March 28th, 2012, 12:26 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khoojyh View Post
Just another question, any electricfied train in Thailand?
Yes, the BTS Skytrain, the MRT and the Airport Rail Link.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 08:23 PM   #180
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Committee pushes rail plans after $1bn loan

Published: 2/04/2012 at 02:40 AM Newspaper section: Business 0
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The government is being urged to speed up rail development after securing a US$1-billion loan from the World Bank.

Rail development is the priority in an infrastructure development plan that will require 2.27 trillion baht over five years (2012-16), according to the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development (SCRF), chaired by Virabongsa Ramangkura.

Rail development under the plan will cost 321 billion baht, and the government will allocate part of the fiscal budget for this investment.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, said the government had already agreed to the loan but not the development of a high-speed rail system that would require another 481 billion baht under the five-year plan.

He said the Finance Ministry needed to consider other loan sources for other projects under the plan, as well as the source for its 350-billion-baht water-management plan.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered various agencies to complete investment plans for water-management projects, along with a plan for water management during the rainy season, by April 16.

Last week, the cabinet approved an amendment to the 1992 Joint Public Private Investment Act that will cut to six months the approval process, from 1-2 years now.

Such red tape delays infrastructure development, said Mr Arkhom.

He said Thailand had not invested in megaprojects since 1997, when the financial crisis engulfed Asia.

The investment framework for the five-year plan includes 721 billion baht for projects that already have loan sources and budgets.

Another 19 projects worth 413 billion baht slated for public-private partnerships, as well as the remaining projects, still have no capital sources, he said.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/...after-1bn-loan
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