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High-Speed Train Project Linking Three Airports

29 March 2018 (Readers 1477)

The high-speed train project, as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), will link Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan, and U-Tapao airport in Rayong.
The Cabinet, during its meeting on 27 March 2018, approved the project to be carried out in the form of the "Private-Public Partnership (PPP) Net Cost. The public sector will pay for the acquisition of land, while the private sector will invest in construction work, electric trains, the hiring of consultants, the management and maintenance of the project, and land development to support rail and passenger services.
The private sector will be allowed to invest in the high-speed train project for 50 years. Out of the 50-year period, five years involve design and construction work and 45 years involve operation and maintenance.
The State Railway of Thailand was assigned to co-invest in the project with selected private companies. According to the Cabinet decision, the Government will invest not more than 119,425.75 million baht in this project. It will pay the private sector for the project on a yearly basis, after the project begins to be fully operational. The payment period is at least 10 years.
The Cabinet also approved the areas surrounding Don Mueang airport and Suvarnabhumi airport to be included in the EEC, which has been strongly promoted by the Government as a new special economic zone to attract foreign investment.
The high-speed train project is part of major transport infrastructure in the development of the EEC, covering Rayong, Chachoengsao, and Chon Buri provinces. It spans a distance of 220 kilometers. An express train will take about one hour and a normal train about one hour and 40 minutes.
It is expected that there will be 147,000 passengers a day in 2023, the first year when the high-speed train system begins its operation. Travel time from U-Tapao airport to Bangkok will be about 45 minutes.
The Government aims to develop the EEC as the most up-to-date economic zone in ASEAN. It is seeking to promote investment in the EEC, linking with logistics systems in this region. Toward this aim, transport networks will be developed to contribute to industrial and urban development.
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