Thailand is finally getting its own bullet train network after years of debate and much red tape. One project is officially ‘under construction’ whilst others aren’t quite so far down the production line, some still even in debate, according to The Thaiger.
“This is going to be a big change for Thailand,” says Thanet Sorat, an authority on logistics in Thailand. Thanet remarked that he hopes to see trains “pinballing” around the country at 250 kpm within the next five years. We’re not certain how realistic that vision is but it does make the high speed rail project even more exciting.
Under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, it’s providing assistance with Thailand’s high speed rail network through funding and technology. The route will snake south from Don Muang airport, east through Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi airport and then south again to U-Tapao via Chonburi, Sriracha and Pattaya.
U-Tapao airport, a joint civil-military airport located south of Pattaya is undergoing a redesign to accommodate more civilian passengers. There are plans to shift 10% of Suvarnabhumi’s passengers over to U-Tapao in an effort to combat congestion in north and east Bangkok.
“To do that, they need a transportation link between the airports, and it could be a good opportunity for HSR,” says Jittichai Rudjanakanoknad of Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Civil Engineering.
Travelling between Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi by road takes around one hour in reasonable traffic. The HSR aims to cut down the travel time between the two airports to as little as 20 minutes.
The two to two and a half hour bus ride to Pattaya will be cut down to as little as 45 mins, an impressive improvement for a route that’s typically choked with traffic.
In addition to the inter-airport rail links, longer high speed rail network lines are under consideration. The only line that’s been confirmed so far connects Bangkok to Khorat but this line could be extended further to Nong Khai. Other routes going through the approval process link Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Trat, and Hat Yai.
This article cites the following source from CNN.
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