The upcoming China-Thailand high-speed railway will help to upgrade Thailand’s rail transport system and unleash economic potentials along the new route. Once the route connects the Thai capital Bangkok with China and other countries, it would help attract more foreign tourists and narrow down the regional economic disparity of Thailand, Xinhua reported. The construction of the first section of the railway line officially began on Thursday, with a ground-breaking ceremony in Nakhon Ratchasima, located in north-eastern Thailand. The first phase of the railway line will span around 253 km. It will link Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima respectively. China will be responsible for the design of the railway line and construction and manufacturing of trains and signal systems.
The second phase will link Nakhon Ratchasima with Nong Khai on the Thailand-Laos border. It will also be further connected to the proposed China-Laos railway line, which will form an arterial railway line connecting Thailand, Laos and China. Huang Bin, the director of Kasikorn Research Center, Bangkok said: “The China-Thailand high-speed railway project will help upgrade Thailand’s railway system. It is foreseeable that the railway will bring wide-reaching connectivity in the country while reducing logistics costs, and thus make Thailand ASEAN’s (Association of South-East Asian Nations) trade and investment centre, as well as a transport and logistics hub.”
The China-Thailand railway project is a joint collaboration between the two countries, under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The project also aims to build a modern-day ‘Silk Road’, in line with the ancient Silk Road trade route, that will connect China with the countries in South-East and Central Asia, Middle East and Europe by land and sea.