China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) is to sign the inter-governmental framework agreement early this month and the project is expected to get under way in late October.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-Thailand diplomatic ties and the first year of implementation of the "One Belt and One Road"initiative proposed by China. The China-Thailand Railway, which has a historical significance, has attracted tremendous attention.
Zhu Xijun, the general manager of CRCC’s Southeast Asia Company, said that the project will be completed in three years, enabling people toenjoy much more convenient and cheaper transport between China and Thailand. The price of a railway passenger ticket between Kunming and Bangkok will be about a half or a third of an airline ticket, and the railway freight cost is only one ninth of the air freight.
The promotors estimate that the railway will bring two million more Chinese tourists to Thailand every year.
The planned China-Thailand Railway is 867km long, with an agreed operation speed of 180km/h, which is slower than the previous plan of 250km/h to save money. The railway will connect northeast Thailand's Nong Khai province, capital Bangkok and eastern Rayong province.