In an effort to develop an alternative land transport system for freight, the Thai government is planning to collaborate with the Chinese counterpart in constructing a high-speed train network that will link the northeastern border province of Nong Khai to the southernmost district of Padang Besa via the capital of Bangkok.
The project, to be conducted under the government-to-government joint venture, has been recently approved by the Thai Economic Cabinet.
China is considered one of the world’s leading countries known for its advancement in rail system development. China first put the magnetic-levitated train, also known as Maglev, which could travel up to the speed of 500 kilometers per hour, on commercial service 7 years ago, and not a single accident has ever been reported since. The technology is recognized for maximum comfort, safety and environmental friendliness. It takes only 7 minutes to travel over a 30-kilometer distance from Longyang to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai.
At present, Thai people give little preference to railway transport as roads have proved more popular and convenient. The government thus wants to develop and modernize the rail system which, compared to other forms of land transport, can save more energy and money for the country.
Director of the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) Supa Piyajitti said that the Thai-Chinese joint venture will allow Thailand to learn the advanced rail techonology that China has developed from Europe. Once the joint venture agreement is sealed, both countries are expected to have wider opportunities to access each other’s market. Since China aims to expand the high-speed train network throughout ASEAN, Thailand will gain benefit from trade expansion bringing about faster economic growth as well as better living conditions of the Thai people.
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