24th Oct 2019
Construction for the planned Baht 244 billion ($7 billion) high-speed railway system that will link three of Thailand’s major airports officially kicked off.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and a consortium comprised of the Charoen Pokphand Group and the China Railway Construction Corporation have inked the deal for the project on Thursday last week.
The planned railway will run 220 km from Don Muang Airport to the north of Bangkok via Bang Sue and Makkasan to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
It will continue along SRT’s East line via the Bang Pakong River, Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Pattaya to U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport.
The line will have a maximum speed of 250 km per hour and is expected to open in 2023.
The project is under the public-private partnership program, and the consortium was granted a 50-year concession agreement, after which operations will be handed over to the government.
Earlier, the Thai cabinet said it has set aside some Baht 119.4 billion for the project while the consortium will invest Baht 117.2 billion.
The project is expected to lead to the boost in property development around the stations and produce an economic return of Baht 650 billion.
Around 16,000 people are expected to be employed during construction while another 100,000 employed in related businesses.
The consortium and 12 other companies were selected for the project by Thailand’s former military government. Both parties have been in negotiations with state agencies since a new government came to power.
In October this year, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirankul, whose party is in charge of the transport portfolio, set a deadline for signing the agreement to start construction, threatening to blacklist the Charoen Phokpand consortium if they failed to do so.