KUALA LUMPUR: The construction work on the first phase of Thailand-China railway project is slated to begin in October, a China's news portal reported today.
People’s Daily Online reported that the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok in a statement on Saturday said both countries are currently speeding up works to ink two contracts of the first phase next month.
"It is a new significant progress that the project made after being approved by Thai cabinet and Thailand's National Legislative Assembly," the statement read.
The negotiations of the design work contract of the first phase and price were concluded during the 20th meeting of Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation between Thailand and China.
The first phase of 253km railway will link Thai capital of Bangkok and the northeastern province of Nakorn Ratchasima.
There will be six train stations along the route.
In the second phase, the project will be extended another 355km from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai on Thai-Lao border.
"The preparation work for the second phase of the project will also start soon."
The second phase offers connection with China-Lao railway from Vientiane to Kunming in China's southern Yunnan Province.
During the project, the Chinese side will be responsible for the design work and supervision, which will incorporate many Thai engineers and architects while the Thais will be responsible for construction work.
"The project will also use Thai equipments and materials as much as possible."
Upon completion of both phases, the railway is expected to improve Thailand's transportation system and becomes the transport hub in the region as it will connect the country with neighboring countries.