The construction of the first phase of a railway between China and Thailand will break ground in October of this year and is planned to be put to use by the end of 2017, said an official on Wednesday.
The first stage of the railway will link the Thai cities of Kaeng Khoi and Bangkok, an official who asked to remain anonymous said at the fifth meeting of Sino-Thai railway cooperation in Nakhon Ratchasima, central Thailand on July 1. The meeting was held from June 30 to July 1.
According to the railway blueprint displayed at the meeting, co-chaired by Wang Xiaotao, Deputy Director of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Thai Transport Minister Prajin Juntongthe, the railway includes four construction stages with a total length of more than 800 kilometers. The planned routes are all dual-track railway lines and trains will be able to run at about 180 km per hour. It will stretch from the north of Thailand to the Thai capital city of Bangkok.
"We have made concrete progress on the project and reached consensus on feasibility research as well as the financing of the framework program," said Wang Xiaotao on July 1. He is also the chief negotiator in Sino-Thai railway cooperation.
The two sides will sign an inter-governmental framework agreement on the project and will hold the sixth cooperation meeting in Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, from August 6 through August 8.
The railway will link Vientiane, capital of Laos, to Kunming, capital city of southwestern China's Yunnan Province. It will also be extended southward so that it will be eventually connected with Malaysia and Singapore, forming an important part of Trans-Asian Railway.