China’s CRCC to build Thailand’s first high-speed rail
China Railway 11 Bureau Group Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC), has recently won a contract to undertake the construction for the first phase of China-Thailand high-speed railway, said the Wuhan-based group.
The group will be responsible for the construction of a 26.1-kilometer section of the first phase project, including three railway beds, two bridges and a new railway station, as well as standard-gauge upgrading and supporting facilities.
According to the group, the rail network's 1.435-metre gauge tracks will enable high-speed trains to travel at up to 250 kilometer per hour in the future. At present, the State Railway of Thailand uses a 1-metre gauge, which only allows trains to travel at 120 km per hour.
The first 253-kilometer leg connecting the Thai capital, Bangkok, and the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima is expected to start service in 2025. Upon completion, the railroad will be Thailand's first high-speed railway running across the country.
The China-Thailand high-speed railway is one of the major connectivity projects between China and Thailand under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It will contribute to infrastructure development and enhance connectivity in Thailand as well as in the region, and thus help Thailand gain more economic and trade advantages.
In the future, the China-Thailand high-speed railway will also connect with the China-Laos railway to the north, and link Malaysia, Singapore to the south, making it an important artery connecting southwest China with South Asia.
The railway network will facilitate trade and people-to-people exchanges, supporting growth arising from the future implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP).