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Old May 5th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #41
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3.2 looks like a woman spreading her holiness :P

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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #42
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All this looks great, but is there already a money for building it? What is the probability that a significant portion of it get's accomplished within the next 10-15 years? I have no way of looking past the shiny plans, but perhaps someone here who lives there or can read Thai has some deeper insight. Thailand is still a relatively poor country after all..
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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:59 PM   #43
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ofcouse, we have money (see previous page for more info.)

last thing, maybe you should change your attitude about thai economy... we are not poor country anymore and our gdp keep growing 6-7% from now
click here for more info
high speed train and other kind of infrastructure are an important factor for future economy growth

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Old May 5th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #44
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ofcouse, we have money (see previous page for more info.)

and last thing i wanna tell you.. do not underestimate thai economy
It's all good then, looking forward to see pictures of actual construction soon.

As for Thai economy, I was roughly familiar with the situation already. It's much better than in neighbouring Laos or Myanmar, nevertheless among countries having, currently building or seriously contemplating HSR only Morocco has lover GDP per capita.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #45
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It's all good then, looking forward to see pictures of actual construction soon.

As for Thai economy, I was roughly familiar with the situation already. It's much better than in neighbouring Laos or Myanmar, nevertheless among countries having, currently building or seriously contemplating HSR only Morocco has lover GDP per capita.
Thailand is not super rich like those developed nations. But compare it with Laos and Myanmar is a very very wrong idea.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 03:36 AM   #46
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Thailand is not super rich like those developed nations. But compare it with Laos and Myanmar is a very very wrong idea.
He's not comparing it to Laos or Myanmar, he's simply saying that Thailand is more developed. Still, don't get mad when people say Thailand is far from a high income economy because it is true. Also, based on the design, I'm a bit skeptical SRT will be able to manage and maintain all those large futuristic stations and facilities, because based on the dirty ugly current stations that are in use, I seriously doubt they can manage these stations, but that's just me. If they can, then kudos! Thailand's train system will finally be vastly upgraded!
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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:15 AM   #47
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He's not comparing it to Laos or Myanmar, he's simply saying that Thailand is more developed. Still, don't get mad when people say Thailand is far from a high income economy because it is true. Also, based on the design, I'm a bit skeptical SRT will be able to manage and maintain all those large futuristic stations and facilities, because based on the dirty ugly current stations that are in use, I seriously doubt they can manage these stations, but that's just me. If they can, then kudos! Thailand's train system will finally be vastly upgraded!
Nah. I didnt get mad. I dont even live in the country anymore. But saying it is far from high income is different from it is poor income, dont you think. He had the judgement on the country which he is not familiar with. You tell me that is a fair post? Thailand is high middle income economy and rank 20th for total GDP. The total budget to build high speed rail is roughly 7% of yearly GDP. Tell me if that economy cannot support the project ? He didnt even accept that he was wrong but change the point to that he was not familiar with the country. Come on...
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Old May 6th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #48
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You tell me that is a fair post? Thailand is high middle income economy and rank 20th for total GDP. The total budget to build high speed rail is roughly 7% of yearly GDP. Tell me if that economy cannot support the project ? He didnt even accept that he was wrong but change the point to that he was not familiar with the country. Come on...
Yes, but there's a wider range of issues here. One of them is, who shall ultimately pay for the construction costs - in particular, how much does the government plan to subsidise. This is closely linked to the question of levels of economic development. In France (where I live), the TGVs are sometimes nicknamed "millionaire trains" because virtually no low-income individuals, and no families with children, can/will pay the ticket prices. Yet the ticket prices are no higher than what SNCF must necessarily demand in order to recoup the construction costs. The French conclusion would be that high-speed trains make sense only when the economy is so highly developed that your average citizen is a well-heeled member of the middle class. It is also for this reason that the only mid-income country so far who has invested in HS is Morocco - a decision which was heavily "influenced" by its formal colonial masters in France.

This is NOT to say that Thailand cannot afford to invest in HS lines and rolling stock. Of course it can. The question is, what happens then? It would probably have to be either (1) trains running half-empty most of the time; or (2) the government dishing out a hefty subsidy to keep ticket prices low.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 01:05 PM   #49
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Yes, but there's a wider range of issues here. One of them is, who shall ultimately pay for the construction costs - in particular, how much does the government plan to subsidise. This is closely linked to the question of levels of economic development. In France (where I live), the TGVs are sometimes nicknamed "millionaire trains" because virtually no low-income individuals, and no families with children, can/will pay the ticket prices. Yet the ticket prices are no higher than what SNCF must necessarily demand in order to recoup the construction costs. The French conclusion would be that high-speed trains make sense only when the economy is so highly developed that your average citizen is a well-heeled member of the middle class. It is also for this reason that the only mid-income country so far who has invested in HS is Morocco - a decision which was heavily "influenced" by its formal colonial masters in France.

This is NOT to say that Thailand cannot afford to invest in HS lines and rolling stock. Of course it can. The question is, what happens then? It would probably have to be either (1) trains running half-empty most of the time; or (2) the government dishing out a hefty subsidy to keep ticket prices low.
Yes, your point is absolutely valid. It's not the problem about the money for investment in the project. But how to sustain it in a long run when the project itself is known as a non-profit by running the service only. There is a very clear example from the countries which already has this running, including Europe and East Asia.

The government have seen it and clearly communicate that by only operate the service alone won't give back any investment return. But there are multiple reasons for them to still push forward the project. One of the reason is to increase the economy activity on each region along the rail line. And push the people outside the capital city, make the link between all sub provinces around bangkok to link into bankok (and vice versa to other region hub city) easier and faster. This which cannot be archived by domestic low-cost airline. There are a lot of gap to fill regarding to thailand transportation system. Especially for the train which is very very old. Also the freight transportation which will also share the new link network for faster transfer as well.

And other clear reason for this project, is the push from Chinese government where they want to connect down into southeast asia using their existing high speed rail network. Actually this is one of the first thing that spark the interest in this HSR project when it was introduced in last couple of goverments. And then the government start to look at other feasibility of the project regarding to local economy and etc. The final picture of this project is the line which completely link down from china to thailand - burma - vietname - laos - malaysia and singapore. It's very ambitious goal I can tell. But here we start it first from thailand where our local economy is roughly big enough to support such system.

Operation cost will be high. Service cost will be low (compare to the developed nations). The rough ticket price is already shown from the study which is expected to be lower than low-cost airline. The potential number of customers has been included and calculate into the feasibility and amount of the money which the government have to subsidize. All possible indirect investment returned including local economy boost, the reduction in oil consumption and transportation time, the reduction in accient lost, etc, has been included in the study. So yes, we don't just give it a go just for the sake of having HSR in the country. That is stupid.

FYI, the investment money will be from domestic loan 50% and yearly transporation budget 50%. Spread across 7 years. The project is not only focus to HSR. But also the upgrade to existing rail track, road network and urban metro line in bangkok. The HSR will take around 40% of the chunk. So if someone think this is already too much money. Look at the rest.

Nobody can say this will absolutely work. It is the risk we take. But by proper study and preparation. Hopefully it will be a success story like what happened to China. The infrastructure investment scene in asia is a very hot topic rightnow. So you might seems surprise and doubt why these countries care so much about this type of project which seems to be frozen in europe rightnow. I'm living in UK and the new London - Burminham link will take 25 years to finish. Compare that and you will see the different. Or maybe look at Laos HSR project which will take 140% of their year GDP to build. That's a lot lot more crazy I can tell.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #50
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Operation cost will be high. Service cost will be low (compare to the developed nations). The rough ticket price is already shown from the study which is expected to be lower than low-cost airline. The potential number of customers has been included and calculate into the feasibility and amount of the money which the government have to subsidize. All possible indirect investment returned including local economy boost, the reduction in oil consumption and transportation time, the reduction in accient lost, etc, has been included in the study. So yes, we don't just give it a go just for the sake of having HSR in the country. That is stupid.
As an economist I have quite a bit of sympathy for this line of argument. Too often, the debate about public investment breaks down between two groups of "fundamentalists": one who argues that if the users of a given train line cannot cover the full costs through ticketing then therefore the investment is a wasteful squandering of taxpayers' money (often heard in the UK press); one who argues that this train line will produce big, tangible benefits to society at large (i.e. beyond the users of the trains) and therefore it must be a good idea (often heard in the French press).

A more balanced argument must - in my view - evolve around the following question: what benefits will the non-train using society benefit from the investment, and how much should policy makers be willing to pay for these benefits? Failing to address this issue properly can result in money being squandered (sometimes the case in France, Spain and China) or opportunities being squandered (frequently the case in the UK).
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Old May 6th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
As for Thai economy, I was roughly familiar with the situation already. It's much better than in neighbouring Laos or Myanmar, nevertheless among countries having, currently building or seriously contemplating HSR only Morocco has lover GDP per capita.
Wait a minute, please get your facts right. These are the 2012 IMF figures for some HSR countries:

Germany 39,028 USD/capita/annum
Spain 30,557
Russia 17,709
Turkey 15,001
Thailand 10,126
China 9,162
Morocco 5,265

As we all know, this in no way reflects their investment into HSR. Just like Hans says, building HSR is very much a political decision, not one dictated by economic circumstances.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Wait a minute, please get your facts right. These are the 2012 IMF figures for some HSR countries:

Germany 39,028 USD/capita/annum
Spain 30,557
Russia 17,709
Turkey 15,001
Thailand 10,126
China 9,162
Morocco 5,265

As we all know, this in no way reflects their investment into HSR. Just like Hans says, building HSR is very much a political decision, not one dictated by economic circumstances.
The Baron implicitly points to a slight inaccuracy in my argument: my point about a "dominant middle class" as a precondition for HSR is, of course, based on a medium-sized European (or other) economy. Here as in so many other cases China is a law unto itself. If there's 1.3 billion people, and 10 per cent of those people have money, then....
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post

As an economist I have quite a bit of sympathy for this line of argument. Too often, the debate about public investment breaks down between two groups of "fundamentalists": one who argues that if the users of a given train line cannot cover the full costs through ticketing then therefore the investment is a wasteful squandering of taxpayers' money (often heard in the UK press); one who argues that this train line will produce big, tangible benefits to society at large (i.e. beyond the users of the trains) and therefore it must be a good idea (often heard in the French press).

A more balanced argument must - in my view - evolve around the following question: what benefits will the non-train using society benefit from the investment, and how much should policy makers be willing to pay for these benefits? Failing to address this issue properly can result in money being squandered (sometimes the case in France, Spain and China) or opportunities being squandered (frequently the case in the UK).
Well yes. Because if you take the profit from running the service only when consider such project. You will never have it. As far as I know all HSR service in east asia including japan, china, taiwan and south korea made a loss on the first couple of years. Even until now some lines still doesnt make a profit on its own. So the indirect investment return must be heavily included when they study it. Just like what you said. I dont have all information for you regarding to the government study. But as far as I can tell they look and follow very closely to the japanese model where land investment and other factor are included.

Thailand doesnt have the economy of scale like China. So its a bit risky. The reason the government rush this project to happen now is due to a very high domestic liquidity. And the currency is very strong. If we do it 10-20 years later it would be a much much more expensive. Considering the economy status. It seems this is the best time if we are going to do it. If one thing Im not sure if it is the same as other countries is the rail track investment which they say it will not be counted as the cost to the project. Due to the reason of making HSR to be more feasible to build. And they want to see it as the investment for the whole country future. Just like building road where you dont take it as a cost as well. So the whole cost will be on the system, train and technology only. You as an economist could tell me if that thing is called stupidity or vision. I dont know.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by melrocks50 View Post
He's not comparing it to Laos or Myanmar, he's simply saying that Thailand is more developed. Still, don't get mad when people say Thailand is far from a high income economy because it is true. Also, based on the design, I'm a bit skeptical SRT will be able to manage and maintain all those large futuristic stations and facilities, because based on the dirty ugly current stations that are in use, I seriously doubt they can manage these stations, but that's just me. If they can, then kudos! Thailand's train system will finally be vastly upgraded!
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Nah. I didnt get mad. I dont even live in the country anymore. But saying it is far from high income is different from it is poor income, dont you think. He had the judgement on the country which he is not familiar with. You tell me that is a fair post? Thailand is high middle income economy and rank 20th for total GDP. The total budget to build high speed rail is roughly 7% of yearly GDP. Tell me if that economy cannot support the project ? He didnt even accept that he was wrong but change the point to that he was not familiar with the country. Come on...
Do we really need to get so touchy about it? I clearly stated that Thailand is better off than Myanmar or Laos. Did absolutely have to add "much, much better"?

It's a valid discussion regarding the money and how affordable it will be for the inhabitants. In Morocco, another middle income (low income?) country building HSR, there is/was a lot of opposition to the project on exactly these grounds.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
Yes, but there's a wider range of issues here. One of them is, who shall ultimately pay for the construction costs - in particular, how much does the government plan to subsidise. This is closely linked to the question of levels of economic development. In France (where I live), the TGVs are sometimes nicknamed "millionaire trains" because virtually no low-income individuals, and no families with children, can/will pay the ticket prices. Yet the ticket prices are no higher than what SNCF must necessarily demand in order to recoup the construction costs.
I think this is a bit of a straw man argument. TGV's are for medium long distance travel and low income individuals simply don't travel much regardless of mode of transportation. And of course for 3-4+ people a car will be cheaper no matter what.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:31 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Wait a minute, please get your facts right. These are the 2012 IMF figures for some HSR countries:

Germany 39,028 USD/capita/annum
Spain 30,557
Russia 17,709
Turkey 15,001
Thailand 10,126
China 9,162
Morocco 5,265

As we all know, this in no way reflects their investment into HSR. Just like Hans says, building HSR is very much a political decision, not one dictated by economic circumstances.
I think Thailand is perfectly capable of building a HSR system, and has good reasons to do so, especially considering it'll help tourism as well. But are those figures you provided adjusted to PPP? I'm asking because according to IMF Thailand's GDP per capita is $5,678. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/...DPDPC&grp=0&a=
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post
Wait a minute, please get your facts right. These are the 2012 IMF figures for some HSR countries:

Germany 39,028 USD/capita/annum
Spain 30,557
Russia 17,709
Turkey 15,001
Thailand 10,126
China 9,162
Morocco 5,265

As we all know, this in no way reflects their investment into HSR. Just like Hans says, building HSR is very much a political decision, not one dictated by economic circumstances.
Other sources report China's GDP per capita having surpassed Thailand's in 2011. But anyway that is not the point. I was jut raising the point about finances and wondering how real all those plans are in a not particularly rich country. And by the way I'm not against it. I think there will be plenty of users particularly considering how popular the country is with tourists.

Now we've got a real discussion albeit a bit heated
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post

I think Thailand is perfectly capable of building a HSR system, and has good reasons to do so, especially considering it'll help tourism as well. But are those figures you provided adjusted to PPP? I'm asking because according to IMF Thailand's GDP per capita is $5,678. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/...DPDPC&grp=0&a=
I think all of those numbers are PPP adjusted.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Hirsch View Post

Wait a minute, please get your facts right. These are the 2012 IMF figures for some HSR countries:

Germany 39,028 USD/capita/annum
Spain 30,557
Russia 17,709
Turkey 15,001
Thailand 10,126
China 9,162
Morocco 5,265

As we all know, this in no way reflects their investment into HSR. Just like Hans says, building HSR is very much a political decision, not one dictated by economic circumstances.
This is a very interesting point. I doubt the politician will gain much from pushing such project where it only affect the middle class up. Considering the current financial status of thai population. As much as everybody said in this thread. This project has a very high risk. The government would want to use those money in the populism project rather than HSR.

Maybe you could elaborate more?
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #60
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HSR could be a kind of populism as well. It can and sometimes is sold as a sign that the country is now technologically advanced and can afford something truly world class.
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