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Old April 27th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #81
napoleon
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Expert views sought on rail network Market sounding programme to be held

Bangkokpost Published: 27/04/2010 at 02:58 AM


The State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) is preparing to launch a “market sounding” programme to encourage global experts to participate in Thailand’s planned investment of up to 700 billion baht in a nationwide high-speed train network.

Supa Piyajitti, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said leading train manufacturers from Japan, Germany and other countries would be invited to offer their views on the programme.

The government plans to build several high-speed train routes over the next several years as part of the Thai Khem Khaeng programme, including links between Bangkok and Chiang Mai and Bangkok to Rayong.

The programme is partly aimed at the broader goal of reducing logistics expenses and promoting rail transport as a cheaper, more energy-efficient alternative to land transport.

But several details remain to be worked out, say authorities. The Bangkok-Rayong route, for instance, is the least expensive of the planned routes at an estimated budget of 56 billion baht but would have to compete for traffic with the existing motorway.

One question is whether an estimated ticket fare of 300 baht would be cheap enough to attract travellers to use the train rather than buses or cars.

The State Railways of Thailand meanwhile plans to invest up to 150 billion baht over several years in dualtrack rail to raise running speeds and increase cargo loads. Another 20 billion baht is also earmarked for new train engines.

The SRT is also overseeing construction of new light-rail mass transit systems for Greater Bangkok, which will start with the Purple Line from Bang Sue to Bang Yai and are estimated to complete in five years.

The SRT is overseeing 106 investment projects under the Thai Khem Khaeng programme. So far, disbursements have been made for 102 of these projects.

Funding for the new megaprojects will come from various sources, including central government budget and private investment through public-private partnerships and new loans.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #82
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Restructuring, investment plan okayed for State Railway of Thailand

By The Nation Published on April 27, 2010


The council of economic ministers yesterday agreed on a five-year plan for restructuring the State Railway of Thailand and a Bt196-billion investment plan for railway infrastructure.

Almost Bt177 billion will be for the SRT's investment plan: 11 ready-to-invest projects worth Bt87.53 billion and 10 others worth Bt89.28 billion that are awaiting a feasibility study. The rest of the money, as requested by the Highways and Rural Roads departments, will be used for 114 flyovers and railway crossings nationwide.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #83
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Nice.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #84
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When is the HSR entering service?
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Old June 14th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #85
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SRT restructuring plan to be completed in 4 months

By The Nation Published on June 12, 2010


The State Railway of Thailand is assigned to complete the new structure and the selection of business group chiefs within 4 months, so that the new structure can take effect on October 1.

Under the new structure, SRT operations, with 25 units, will be unified and put into three operating groups - train operation, maintenance and asset management, said Transport Minister Supoj Saplom.


On the subsidiary to run Airport Rail Link, the ministry will soon ask for the Cabinet's approval to raise the subsidiary's capital from Bt500 million to Bt2 billion. The subsidiary should be established in August, he said.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:43 PM   #86
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High-speed rail plan mooted Agency suggests govt fund civil construction

Bangkokpost Published: 21/06/2010 at 12:00 AM


The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning will suggest to the government that it invest in the civil construction work for a national high-speed rail line, a senior official at the Transport Ministry says.

Economic ministers mooted a plan last November to build the country's first high-speed rail line, with trains running as fast as 250km an hour.

The OTTP, an agency under the Transport Ministry, was assigned to conduct a study for the consideration of the State Railway of Thailand and later cabinet.

Permanent secretary for transport Supoj Sublom said the OTTP will support the plan whereby the government takes sole responsibility for civil construction, including tracks, while allowing the private sector to invest in the train.

The state will require 800 billion baht to complete the civil construction work, he said.

Two other plans have been suggested. The first will see the state and private sector invest equally in all aspects of the project, while in the other the state will provide 70% of the funding, with the rest coming from private partners.

Plans to build a high-speed railway line have been discussed for years.

In 1997, then transport minister Suwat Liptapanlop, under the leadership of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, proposed the construction of a line from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima. No subsequent government has followed up the plan.

Where the line presently being discussed will run remains uncertain.

The ministry last year proposed the development of routes running from Bangkok to four destinations: Chiang Mai city, Nong Khai, Chanthaburi and Padang Besar, in Songkhla's Sadao district on the border with Malaysia.

Economic ministers had wanted the train to run between Bangkok and Rayong to serve the Eastern Seaboard.

The OTTP study specifies four lines: from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, to Nong Khai, to Rayong and to Hat Yai district in Songkhla.

Although there is pressure to build the Rayong line, a ministry source said the most viable route would be between Bangkok and Hat Yai, which is the main centre of business in the South.

The 937km-long route will provide a higher rate of return than the 221km line to Rayong, the source said.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #87
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SRT says it's on track to bring in foreign train makers

Bangkokpost Published: 29/06/2010 at 12:00 AM


The State Railway of Thailand will invite foreign train makers to establish a locomotive plant in Thailand to meet an order worth more than 8.6billion baht.

Permanent secretary for transport Supoj Saplorm said yesterday the SRT plans to order 13 diesel-electric, 20-tonne-per-axle locomotives worth a combined 2.14 billion baht and 50 other locomotives worth together 6.53 billion baht to replace its present engines.

It will seek cabinet approval for the procurement in July and is expected to call for tenders from suppliers in September.

"I believe the project will interest operators from France, Spain, Japan, Korea and China," Mr Supoj said.

"The huge investment should attract the private sector and the project can expand to locomotive maintenance in the future as the SRT plans to have 56 other locomotives repaired at a cost of 3.36 billion baht."

Mr Supoj said the locomotive production base should benefit Thailand as it will create jobs and see the transfer of technology to Thai people.

Locally built locomotives will be cheaper because the production cost will depend on local labour and some of the raw materials, such as wire, glass and interior decorations, can be acquired locally.

He expects the local production to reduce the overall cost of the locomotive procurement by at least 20% or about 1.7 billion baht.

The SRT plans to implement infrastructure projects worth 176.8 billion baht from 2010 to 2014. It will ask the government to bear most of the cost.

Eleven of the projects are ready for implementation and will cost 87.52 billion baht. They include a pair of track maintenance projects over a combined distance of nearly 600 kilometres, a 106km parallel track from Chachoengsao to Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi, and the procurement of 13 diesel-electric locomotives.

Seven other projects are being considered.

They are: the maintenance of unsafe tracks over a combined distance of 2,406km; the maintenance of 1,434 bridges; the installation of signal systems at 224 railway stations; the installation and maintenance of railway barriers at 1,284 locations; the installation of fences along tracks over a combined distance of 1,649km; and two projects to build locomotive depots in Kaeng Khoi and Si Racha district in Chon Buri.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #88
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Views sought on train projects

Bangkokpost Published: 5/07/2010 at 12:00 AM


The State Enterprise Policy Office over the next several weeks will begin soliciting views from the private sector about the design of the national high-speed train programme.

Supa Piyajitti, the SEPO director-general, said the current plan calls for four high-speed routes crossing the country.

No determination has yet been made on the core technology for the project, she said.

Manufacturers from Japan, Germany, France and other countries will be invited to offer their views about the project, including the feasibility of the current route, financing and technological options.

Authorities have also yet to say whether the programme will be fully funded by the government or structured as a public private partnership with the private sector responsible for part of the investment cost.

"We are being very flexible with the programme, and hope that the market-sounding phase will lead to the best overall plan for the country," Mrs Supa said.

Preliminary plans call for the programme to begin with a 221-kilometre Bangkok-Rayong route, followed later with a 745-km line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, a 615-km line from Bangkok to Nong Khai and a 937-km line from Bangkok to Hat Yai.

The SEPO estimates that the Bangkok-Chiang Mai line will have a minimum cost of 209 billion baht, with an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) projected at 14.55% for the overall project.

The financial internal rate of return (FIRR) however depends on the structure of programme and participation of the private sector.

If the government finances the entire investment, the FIRR is projected at just 0.93%, compared with as high as 23.5% if the private sector is responsible for rolling stock while the state is responsible for switching and control systems and civil construction.

A 50:50 partnership between the government and the private sector meanwhile would result in an estimated FIRR of 2.25% for the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, or 4.66% if the private sector invests only 30% of the total investment cost.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoleon View Post
High-speed rail plan mooted Agency suggests govt fund civil construction

Bangkokpost Published: 21/06/2010 at 12:00 AM


The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning will suggest to the government that it invest in the civil construction work for a national high-speed rail line, a senior official at the Transport Ministry says.

Economic ministers mooted a plan last November to build the country's first high-speed rail line, with trains running as fast as 250km an hour.

The OTTP, an agency under the Transport Ministry, was assigned to conduct a study for the consideration of the State Railway of Thailand and later cabinet.

Permanent secretary for transport Supoj Sublom said the OTTP will support the plan whereby the government takes sole responsibility for civil construction, including tracks, while allowing the private sector to invest in the train.

The state will require 800 billion baht to complete the civil construction work, he said.

Two other plans have been suggested. The first will see the state and private sector invest equally in all aspects of the project, while in the other the state will provide 70% of the funding, with the rest coming from private partners.

Plans to build a high-speed railway line have been discussed for years.

In 1997, then transport minister Suwat Liptapanlop, under the leadership of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, proposed the construction of a line from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima. No subsequent government has followed up the plan.

Where the line presently being discussed will run remains uncertain.

The ministry last year proposed the development of routes running from Bangkok to four destinations: Chiang Mai city, Nong Khai, Chanthaburi and Padang Besar, in Songkhla's Sadao district on the border with Malaysia.

Economic ministers had wanted the train to run between Bangkok and Rayong to serve the Eastern Seaboard.

The OTTP study specifies four lines: from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, to Nong Khai, to Rayong and to Hat Yai district in Songkhla.

Although there is pressure to build the Rayong line, a ministry source said the most viable route would be between Bangkok and Hat Yai, which is the main centre of business in the South.

The 937km-long route will provide a higher rate of return than the 221km line to Rayong, the source said.
This is good in theory, but I think a better move would be to upgrade existing infrastructure. The Hat Yai route makes the most sense, and has the opportunity to link it with upgrades to the Malaysian system, but a standard gauge HST line can't do that, so I'd say the money would be better spent redeveloping the existing line and bringing it up to 160kmh. It will benefit more people (existing lives serves more settlements than a HST would) and would bring upgrades to all services on that line, including local and freight trains, as well as intercity trains. Eventually we might even have 160kmh electric sleeper trains between KL and Bangkok
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #90
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Ministry pushes double track railway plan

Bangkokpost Published: 15/07/2010 at 12:00 AM


The Transport Ministry is pushing ahead with plans to lay double track railways on some routes and is also looking at replacing its diesel locomotives with electric trains.

The deputy director of the ministry's Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office, Pranot Suriya, told a seminar yesterday his office is planning the double track railways to improve the nation's logistics.

A consultancy is expected to propose its design for the first phase of the double tracks before October. Mr Pranot's office will then forward the details of the project to the cabinet so that tenders for the work can be called next year.

Suchai Roiwiwat, a railway expert from the consultancy, said the cabinet had endorsed double tracks on five routes: the 118km Lop Buri-Pak Nampho (Nakhon Sawan) route, the 132km Map Kabao (Saraburi)-Thanon Jira junction (Nakhon Ratchasima) route, the 185km Thanon Jira-Khon Kaen route, the 165km Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin (Prachuap Khiri Khan) route, and the 167km Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon route.

Mr Suchai said the double track project not only involves laying a second track running parallel to the existing track but also strengthening the existing track so trains can travel at speeds of up to 180 kilometres an hour.

This will mean that trains should be able to carry around 10% of the country's cargo instead of just 2% now and the number of train trips will surge from 200 a day to 500 to 800. The number of train passengers will also increase by 3.5 times.

Thailand also needs to replace its diesel locomotives with electric trains to cut fuel, maintenance and staff costs by as much as 30%.

Electric trains can also shorten travel times by 20% and are environmentally friendly. The study on the dual rail tracks includes a design to support the introduction of electric trains.

Pichet Khunathammarak, a civil engineer with the Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office, said the building of electric railway tracks costs about 30 million baht a kilometre more than for conventional track but electric railways can significantly reduce transport and energy costs.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 11:50 AM   #91
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First, second class fares to go up 10%

Bangkokpost Published: 31/07/2010 at 12:00 AM


The State Railway of Thailand will raise first- and second-class train fares by 10% but the authority's board has blocked a proposal to also hike third-class fares.

Permanent secretary for transport and SRT chairman Supoj Saplom said yesterday that the board had approved a proposal to increase first- and second-class train fares by 10%.

The changes will take effect on Oct 1.

However, the board rejected a request to raise third-class fares, fearing the proposed hike would adversely affect low-income passengers, Mr Supoj said. SRT governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said the authority had initially pushed for an increase to third-class fares, which was expected to boost SRT revenues by 114 million baht a year.

He said the SRT had wanted to delay raising first- and second-class fares because they were already high, and it was feared that any further increase would result in fewer passengers.

Mr Yutthana said he had ordered SRT executives to discuss the possibility of raising third-class fares with Finance Ministry officials.

Mr Yutthana said that under the new fare structure, first-class fares would increase by 10% from 0.932 baht a kilometre to 1.025 baht a kilometre for the first 100km of travel.

Fares will increase from 0.853 baht a kilometre to 0.938 baht a kilometre for the next 101-200km.

For a trip of 201-300km, fares will jump from 0.785 baht a kilometre to 0.864 baht a kilometre. Fares for a trip of 301km and longer will increase to 0.813 baht a kilometre from 0.739 baht.

Second-class fares will increase by 10% from 0.488 baht a kilometre to 0.537 baht a kilometre for the first 100km.

Fares for trips of 301km and longer will increase from 0.336 baht a kilometre to 0.370 baht a kilometre.

Mr Yutthana said the new fare structure was agreed upon by the SRT and the Finance Ministry.

Mr Yutthana said the agreements were reached to determine the appropriate level of funding the SRT would receive from the national budget.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:33 PM   #92
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SRT employees urged to support overhaul

THE NATION Published on August 4, 2010


The Transport Ministry yesterday tried to convince workers of the State Railway of Thailand to support the overhaul of the state enterprise's operations.

Permanent Secretary Supoth Sublom and SRT management arranged the meeting with 1,000 employees out of the almost 30,000-strong workforce to explain the benefits of the revamp.


The SRT's labour union has opposed the reorganisation, which will divide SRT into three strategic business units - train operation, maintenance and asset management - plus a subsidiary to run the Airport Rail Link.


The union claims that the split and the policy that urges the three units to work independently and focus on profit making were detrimental to public service and employees.


But Supoth said SRT's operations have suffered from a lack of efficiency and flexibility. For example, SRT has as many as 10 deputy governors in charge of the four existing core business units, reflecting redundancy.


But under the new structure each of the three SBUs and the subsidiary will get its own CEO, which would promote operating efficiency and benefit customers.


The Cabinet has already approved the SRT re-engineering plan, with implementation expected to start in October. This month the Cabinet will consider SRT's business plan for the airport link subsidiary.


If approved, the subsidiary will be registered with the Commerce Ministry.


The Airport Rail Link will commence full commercial operations in December.


If the SRT could successfully adopt the new business model, the ministry would ask the government to step in to help shoulder SRT's debt of Bt70 billion, so that the operation under the new structure would be debt-free, he added.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 07:21 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoleon View Post
Ministry pushes double track railway plan

Bangkokpost Published: 15/07/2010 at 12:00 AM


The Transport Ministry is pushing ahead with plans to lay double track railways on some routes and is also looking at replacing its diesel locomotives with electric trains.

The deputy director of the ministry's Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office, Pranot Suriya, told a seminar yesterday his office is planning the double track railways to improve the nation's logistics.

A consultancy is expected to propose its design for the first phase of the double tracks before October. Mr Pranot's office will then forward the details of the project to the cabinet so that tenders for the work can be called next year.

Suchai Roiwiwat, a railway expert from the consultancy, said the cabinet had endorsed double tracks on five routes: the 118km Lop Buri-Pak Nampho (Nakhon Sawan) route, the 132km Map Kabao (Saraburi)-Thanon Jira junction (Nakhon Ratchasima) route, the 185km Thanon Jira-Khon Kaen route, the 165km Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin (Prachuap Khiri Khan) route, and the 167km Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon route.

Mr Suchai said the double track project not only involves laying a second track running parallel to the existing track but also strengthening the existing track so trains can travel at speeds of up to 180 kilometres an hour.

This will mean that trains should be able to carry around 10% of the country's cargo instead of just 2% now and the number of train trips will surge from 200 a day to 500 to 800. The number of train passengers will also increase by 3.5 times.

Thailand also needs to replace its diesel locomotives with electric trains to cut fuel, maintenance and staff costs by as much as 30%.

Electric trains can also shorten travel times by 20% and are environmentally friendly. The study on the dual rail tracks includes a design to support the introduction of electric trains.

Pichet Khunathammarak, a civil engineer with the Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office, said the building of electric railway tracks costs about 30 million baht a kilometre more than for conventional track but electric railways can significantly reduce transport and energy costs.
Will all these upgrading works be still retaining the metre gauge?
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Old August 6th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #94
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Thailand ready for rail talks with China

Bangkokpost Published: 6/08/2010 at 12:00 AM


Thailand and China are expected to open talks this month on plans to jointly invest in Thailand's new standard-gauge rail link and high-speed train projects.

A panel chaired by Korbsak Sabhavasu, secretary-general to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, yesterday set up two subcommittees to work out a feasibility study for the projects.

The Thai government wants to invest jointly with China in a high-speed rail line from Suvarnabhumi airport to Rayong on the Eastern Seaboard through Pattaya and Laem Chabang, and a standard-gauge link from China through Vietnam, Laos and Nong Khai in Thailand's northeast to connect with Malaysia and Singapore.

A new standard-gauge rail line from Nong Khai to the southern border with Malaysia is expected to cost 300 billion baht.

The line would link at Nong Khai to a line China plans to build through Vietnam and Laos.

Mr Korbsak said the high-speed rail project linking Suvarnabhumi and Rayong was estimated to cost 30 billion baht.

He said the two subcommittees were required to complete their studies in two weeks.

Officials from the two countries are required to complete a draft memorandum of understanding ahead of Mr Abhisit's visit to China scheduled for early next month.

The new rail line would benefit travel through the region as the train network is expected to be built from Kunming through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia to connect with Singapore.

The tourism industry would benefit greatly from the new network, Mr Korbsak said.

He said the 1,000-kilometre line in Thailand would be developed along the existing State Railway of Thailand track and would take about three years to build.

Trains on the new line would run at 200 kilometres an hour compared with the SRT average of 60km/h.

The investment is in addition to 170billion baht earmarked for upgrading the SRT's services and the speed of its trains, Mr Korbsak said.

The SRT project is aimed at improving safety standards and increasing speeds on its one metre-gauge lines to between 80km/h and 100km/h from the present 60km/h.

Mr Korbsak said a feasibility study for the high-speed train from Bangkok to Rayong would go ahead even if Thailand failed to sign a deal with China.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 02:00 PM   #95
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MEKONG RIVER BASIN NATIONS APPROVE RAIL LINK PLAN
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HANOI, Aug 21 (NNN-TNA): Six Asian countries whose citizens depend heavily on the Mekong River have approved a railway system plan connecting between them which would facilitate cross-border transport and trade once the project is completed.

Ministers from the six countries -- Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam -- on Friday approved the plan during their meeting in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

Currently, only China and Vietnam have railway lines that connect with each other, and landlocked Laos has no rail network at all.

Ministers at the Greater Mekong Sub-region meeting finally agreed on a plan which was first promoted 18 years ago, designed to develop closer economic links among the six nations.

After adopting the plan, ministers gave their green light for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to conduct a study on transportation strategy, especially focused on the rail network to link their countries to create maximum benefit, according to Satit Wongnongtaey, Thailand’s minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, who attended the meeting.

Senior officials from over 10 countries supporting the project also attended the meeting.

Satit said before the project was approved that Thailand gave its full support to the programme which would require investment of more than Bt4.208 billion.

Thailand, he said, planned to propose setting up a small- and medium-enterprise (SME) fund at the sub-regional level aimed at stimulating investment by private investors of the six nations as well as speeding an agreement on border passage for their peoples and trade, now pending approval in Thai Parliament.

The railway system plan which to connect over 300 million people of the six countries cites four possible ways of connecting the railways.

However, it says the most viable routes would stretch from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, then on to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and finally up to Nanning and Kunming in China. Railways will largely use existing lines or those already under construction.

International news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted ADB vice president Lawrence Greenwood as saying the routes could open by 2020.

ADB says that by 2025 an estimated 3.2 million passengers and 23 million tonnes of freight are projected for the completed route.
http://namnewsnetwork.org/v2/read.php?id=130936
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Old August 24th, 2010, 12:46 AM   #96
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Rail project with China considered Standard-gauge line to tie region together

Bangkokpost Published: 24/08/2010 at 12:00 AM


The cabinet will hear a proposal next week to establish a joint venture between the Thai and Chinese governments to develop a new standard-gauge rail line from Nong Khai in the Northeast to the southern border with Malaysia.

Korbsak Sabhavasu, the secretary-general to the prime minister, chairs a panel tasked with working out a feasibility study for the project.

He said the joint venture would initially build a standard-gauge railway between Nong Khai and Bangkok.

He met yesterday with representatives from the Chinese government to discuss possible technical co-operation for development.

The Thai government earlier said it wanted to invest jointly with China in a high-speed rail line from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Rayong province on the Eastern Seaboard via Pattaya and Laem Chabang and a standard-gauge link from Kunming, southern China that would travel through Vietnam and Laos before reaching Nong Khai.

The standard-gauge line would later connect with Malaysia and eventually Singapore.

The portion between Nong Khai and the Malaysian border has been estimated to carry a price tag of 300 billion baht.

After linking up at Nong Khai with the line that China plans to build through Vietnam and Laos, it would eventually extend through peninsular Malaysia and terminate in Singapore, thus facilitating travel throughout the entire region.

However, the two sides have yet to touch on details of how the joint venture would be established, how much investment capital would be required or the stake that each country would hold in the project.

He said the proposal would be tabled for cabinet consideration next week.

If it is approved in principle, it would then be forwarded to parliament for approval as required by Article 190 of the Constitution.

He said Chinese authorities also expressed interest in investing in the proposed high-speed rail project linking Suvarnabhumi Airport and Rayong projected to cost 30 billion baht.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #97
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Cabinet to ponder train plan

THE NATION Shanghai Published on August 30, 2010


A Sino-Thai proposal for a high-speed train from the Northeast to the South via Bangkok is expected to go to Cabinet tomorrow for in-principle approval.

Supa Piyajitti, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said last week the concept of jointly developing a high-speed train had been mooted for a long time.


The office was now ready to set a timeframe to consider in detail the legal, investment, value, equipment and supply aspects, she said.


The Cabinet had approved an ad-hoc committee chaired by PM's secretary Korbsak Saphavasu to study the feasibility of establishing a Sino-Thai joint venture to construct a 1,800-kilometre, standard-gauge railway from Nong Khai in the Northeast to the South via Bangkok.


The project has been estimated to cost about Bt500 billion.


The timeframe for setting up the joint venture would be put up for approval from the Cabinet first, probably tomorrow, and then the House of Representatives, she said.


Many options of the joint venture establishment were already set, but could not be revealed, she said.

QUICKER, SAFER


The government has given priority to railway system development as it could help make mass transit quicker and safer and also reduce transport and logistics costs, she said.


Following the direction set by the government, railway development in the future would focus on the existing one-metre-gauge railways. A budget of Bt170 billion has been approved for this.


The next phase would be to improve the efficiency of mass transit and transport logistics both locally and internationally.


The Transport Ministry and State Railway of Thailand would study double-track railways, neighbouring linkages and standard gauge, as well as high-speed trains.


China had poured huge money in its rail system and links with other domestic and international transport networks, she said, including technology, route planning, invest-ment structure and management.


Thailand should take advantage of this, she said.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 02:15 PM   #98
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Development on Fast track So much to gain from new rail routes.

Published: 31/08/2010 at 12:00 AM


While the cabinet will today consider approving the framework of joint investment between Thailand and China on the development of high-speed train routes in Thailand, both public and private sectors believe faster rail transit will benefit the country economically and socially.

The investments would develop high-speed trains with speeds of around 250 kilometres per hour. Three routes with an investment value of approximately 480 billion baht are now under consideration: Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Rayong and Bangkok-Padang Besar.

Supa Piyajitti, director-general of State Enterprise Policy Office, said state-run organisations with the potential to join the investment were the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which owns land plots along possible routes, and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), which has technical expertise.

She said a memorandum of understanding on the Thai-Chinese joint investment would identify only the main topics of co-operation. Once it receives cabinet approval, the MOU must be approved by parliament as the government needs to conduct a public hearing on the issue. "Details of possible co-operation have already been drafted but cannot be disclosed at the moment. The timeframe for development will depend on when the parliament approves the MOU," she said.

A joint Thai-Chinese company with 50:50 ownership will be established, each side with authority to arrange investors. It is unlikely the SRT would invest alone in the joint venture as the law forbids a state enterprise to enter an investment in which a foreigner has more than 49% ownership.

Ms Supa said the joint venture would not require vast capital as the new firm could seek funding for development of a high-speed train system and repay the debt from income generated from its operation. Thai partners would be expected to provide land which, after the rail is constructed, will be given to the government.

Manop Sangiambut, CLSA head of China research, said China plans to export its high-speed train technology to other countries. China earlier applied high-speed train technology from France, Germany and Japan to develop its own technology.

He said the Chinese government usually provides low-interest funding, rail construction and vehicles when investing in other countries.

Ms Supa last week led a Thai delegation to study operations of Chinese high-speed trains in Shanghai.

She said China has both magnetic and electrical train systems, but Thailand requires electrical trains because magnetic trains, running at a maximum speed of 430 km/hour, are too expensive.

High-speed trains from Bangkok to Rayong are expected to add competitiveness to Thai industries.

The other two routes would upgrade the living standard of people in those provinces while also improving tourism.

Mr Manop added Thai funds might be mobilised from the capital market.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 05:43 AM   #99
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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/9...3/7109577.html

China, Thailand study jointly building railways

10:10, August 19, 2010

China and Thailand are studying the possibility of jointly building two railway projects, the 21st Century Herald reported, citing Piamsak Milintachinda, Thailand's ambassador to China.

One of the projects would be a line from Thailand's Nong Khai to the Chinese city of Kunming, which would also connect Laos and may include lines to Malaysia and Singapore.

China and Thailand are also studying a possible 240-km long high-speed rail connection within Thailand between the cities of Bangkok and Rayong, according to the report.

China, now the world's second largest economy, has been building up a national network of high-speed rails. The line linking Beijing and Shanghai is expected to be operational in 2012, running at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour.

By People's Daily Online
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Old September 5th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #100
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Cabinet to consider high-speed train

Bangkokpost Published: 5/09/2010 at 01:33 PM


The high-speed train joint investment between Thailand and China will be discussed at the cabinet meeting within the next two weeks, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said during his weekly broadcast on Sunday.

"I've travelled by a high-speed train [in Shanghai] and its speed is up to 431 kilometres per hour. It takes only seven minutes to travel 30 kilometres from the airport and this shows China's capabilities in many areas," Mr Abhisit said.

He said a negotiation framework will be proposed for the cabinet and the parliament for consideration before the high-speed train project can be launched.

The Transport Ministry and the State Railway of Thailand had prepared the issues for the negotiation to expedite the implementation of the project, he said.

"The government wants to improve the country's transport system, especially the rail system," the premier added.
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