Bangkok—Thailand has begun constructing routes for its planned Trans-Asean bullet train line that will connect Beijing, Laos, and Singapore. The proposed modern transport system is part of the government’s plan to make Thailand the logistics centre for ASEAN. The railway project is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative along with Thailand’s Transportation Ministry.
The estimated cost for the entire project is about 2.07 trillion baht or S$91.4 billion.
The first route is the Thai-Sino project which links Bangkok to Nong Khai in Laos. The line is estimated to be 608km long and is expected to be completed by 2023. Additional connecting lines to Vientiane and to the Chinese province of Mohan shall also be constructed.
A Thai transport official said that the bullet train will reduce travel time from Vientiane to Mohan from two days to only three hours.
Bang Sue will be the grand station and central point of convergence for all the lines according to the State Railway of Thailand. The massive four-story central station shall be linked to Thailand’s Blue Line, Airport Rail Link, and other train routes to provinces.
Thailand is also in talks with Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia regarding the preparation of railway industry standards and financials for bullet trains and subways.
Upon completion of the planned routes, train travel to Beijing and Singapore through Thailand will be possible.
The Central Route includes stations at Kunming in China, Yuxi, Mohan, Vientiane in Laos, Bangkok in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Singapore.
The Eastern Route includes stations in Kunming, Yuxi, Mengzi, Hekou, Hanoi an Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Bangkok.
The Southern Route which is currently under study plans a line from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
“Thais will be able to take high-speed trains to the Chinese capital and Singapore from a railway station in Bang Sue in the future,” said Deputy Transport Minister Pailin Chuchottaworn./TISG
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