The new development proposals entail expanding the metre-gauge double-track rail network nationwide, expanding the capacity of motorways, adding to Bangkok’s masstransit system, developing high-speed rail links between the capital and the East and the North, as well as connecting Bangkok and key tourist destinations.
However, not all of the projects are guaranteed to get off the ground. Under the eight-year infrastructure development plan (2015-22) approved by the cabinet on March 27, the 1.91-trillion baht plan calls for investment mainly in metre-gauge rail network expansion, Bangkok mass transit and highway expansion. The plan includes:
- Intercity train network development (494.46 billion baht);
- Public transport in Bangkok and its outskirts (744.56 billion);
- Increasing highway capacity to connect key production bases with those of neighbouring countries (522.29 billion);
- Marine transport network development (101 billion);
- Airport and air transport capacity enhancement (50.06 billion).
The rail strategy is divided into two parts.
The priority is six double-track metre-gauge lines costing 127.5 billion baht, construction
of which will start between 2018 and 2019 and be completed in 2020. The six priority
- Jira junction in Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen (185 kilometres), costing 26 billion baht;
- Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon (167km, 17.29 billion);
- Map Ka Bao (Saraburi) to Jira junction (132km, 29.85 billion);
- Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin (165km, 20.03 billion);
- Lop Buri to Pak Nam Pho in Nakhon Sawan (148km, 24.82 billion);
- Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan (90km,9.43 billion).
Thirteen other projects are scheduled to be completed by 2022. By that year, the double-track metre-gauge rail network will total 3,994 kilometres, a gargantuan leap from the existing 357 km.
Source: Chatrudee Theparat