High-speed train project in the Eastern Economic Corridor

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee has approved a high-speed train project, linking with Thailand’s three international airports, namely Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao.

The decision was made on February 26, 2018 at its meeting, chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who called on all relevant agencies to explain to the people the necessity of implementing the high-speed train project.

The project is one of the five urgent transport infrastructure programs, which will help push for the successful operation of the EEC development. It will be developed from the eastern route of the high-speed train project, linking Lat Krabang in Bangkok with Rayong province.

The high-speed train project will open up new development areas, connecting Bangkok with three provinces in the EEC, namely Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, and Rayong. There will be five railway stations in Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Si Racha, Pattaya, and U-Tapao.

People along the route may park their cars at these stations, which will save travel time, especially during rush hour. Moreover, Thailand will benefit from the reduction of oil consumption, traffic congestion, and air pollution.

The Government believes that the high-speed train project will be able to provide services in response to the demands of the general public and tourists. It is expected that more than 40 million people will use these services. Investment in the project is expected to be more than 200 billion baht, but economic returns from the project are likely to be over 700 billion baht. It will be carried out in the form of a public-private partnership, or PPP, which will help reduce national expenditure.

In building this project, Thai engineers and local content will be used at the maximum, in accordance with criteria set in the country’s investment promotion measures. Investors are required to transfer knowledge to educational institutions in Thailand in order to develop personnel to work for high-speed railway development in the future.

The project will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. It is expected that interested private companies will be invited to join the bidding on the project by March 2018.

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