High-speed rail in Thailand

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Thailand High Speed Rail
Type High-speed rail
Status Under construction
Locale  Thailand
Operator(s) State Railway of Thailand
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Operating speed 250 km/h (155 mph) max


In October 2010, the Thai parliament approved initial proposals for a high speed rail (HSR) network. Five lines capable of handling 250 km/h speeds would radiate from Bangkok.[1]

In March 2013, the transport minister revealed that only one company would be selected to run all high-speed train routes, scheduled to be operational between 2018 and 2019.[2] The first 86 km section from Bang Sue to Ayuthaya was planned to be tendered in late-2013. However, a seven-month-long political crisis involving the dissolution of parliament and an annulled February 2014 election culminated in a military coup in May 2014. Subsequently, in July 2014 the new military administration deferred all HSR plans until the next civilian government is installed.

Following the military coup of May 2014 and his elevation to the office of prime minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha proposed connecting Bangkok to two popular resort cities, Pattaya and Hua Hin, by high-speed rail. The Transport Ministry's Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning had earlier conducted studies on both routes. They assumed that, for the Bangkok-Pattaya line, trains would run through Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Pattaya, terminating in Rayong, a total distance of 193.5 km. Construction costs were estimated at 152 billion baht with an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) of 13 percent. Construction would take about 54 months. The route to Hua Hin would be 209 km in length with an investment cost of about 98 billion baht and EIRR of 8.1 percent. The office concluded that these routes would be of little interest to private investors due to the high investment required, coupled with a low rate of return.[3]

High Speed Routes[edit]

High-Speed Corridor Route Speed (km/h) Length (km) Network Projected Operation Status
Bangkok-Phitsanulok High-Speed Railway BangkokAyutthayaPhitsanulok 250 384 Japan 2021 (Forecast) Under construction
Phitsanulok-Chiang Mai High-Speed Railway PhitsanulokUttaraditLampangChiang Mai 250 285 Japan Unknown Planning Stage
Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima High-Speed Railway BangkokAyutthayaSaraburiNakhon Ratchasima 250 250 China 2019 (Forecast) Under construction
Nakhon Ratchasima-Vientiane Railway Nakhon RatchasimaKhon KaenUdon ThaniNong KhaiVientiane Unknown 380 China Unknown Planning Stage
Bangkok-Hua Hin High-Speed Railway BangkokNakhon PathomRatchaburiPhetchaburiHua Hin 250 211 Thai privatized Unknown EIA
Bangkok-Rayong High-Speed Railway BangkokChachoengsaoChonburiRayong 250 193.5 Thai privatized 2021 (Forecast) EIA

Bangkok-Chiang Mai Shinkansen[edit]

Japan will provide Shinkansen technology for a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Sino-Thai railway[edit]

In November 2014, Thailand and China signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to construct the Thai portion of the transnational railway running from Kunming, China to the Gulf of Thailand. In November 2015, both parties agreed to a division of labour. Under the framework, a joint venture will be set up to run the project. China will conduct feasibility studies, design the system, construct tunnels and bridges, and lay track. Thailand will conduct social and environmental impact studies, expropriate land for construction, handle general civil engineering and power supply, and supply construction materials.

Once built, China will operate and maintain the system for the first three years of operation. Between the third and the seventh years, both countries will share responsibility. Later Thailand will take on responsibility with China as adviser. China will train Thai personnel to operate and maintain the system.

Dual standard-gauge tracks will be laid throughout the project. In Thailand, two routes will diverge at a junction in Kaeng Khoi District in Saraburi Province. One will connect Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi. The other route will connect Kaeng Khoi with Map Ta Phut of Rayong Province. From Kaeng Khoi tracks will lead north to Nakhon Ratchasima and on to Nong Khai Province. Construction will be divided into four sections: Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi, Map Ta Phut-Kaeng Khoi, Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai.

Construction of Thailand's 873-kilometre-long portion of the railway system is expected to start in mid-2016 and take three years. It will connect to a 417 km line from Vientiane to the northern Lao border and a 520 km line from the Lao border to Kunming.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thailand to negotiate with China on high-speed proposal". International Railway Journal. 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Transport Minister: One firm will run all high-speed train routes". Thai Financial Post. 2013-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Difficulty in implementing high-speed train to resort provinces". Mass Communication Organization of Thailand (MCOT). 2015-02-14. Retrieved 15 Feb 2015. 
  4. ^ Jikkham, Patsara (2015-11-17). "Sino-Thai railway responsibilities set". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 18 November 2015.