Bids called on Cambodia rail link
- Published: 2/04/2013 at 04:39 PM
- Online news:
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will call an e-auction on April 10 on work to renovate damaged tracks connecting Thailand with Cambodia at the Aranyaprathet-Poipet crossing, Transport Minister Chadchat Suttipan said on Tuesday.
A file photo in 1992 shows the last stop of the Thai tracks at Klong Luek in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo. The damaged tracks will be rehabilitated to reconnect Thailand with Cambodia by train. (Bangkok Post Photo)
The railway agency estimated the project will cost 2.8 billion baht. It will include rehabilitation of the six kilometres of tracks from Aranyaprathet station to Klong Luek, opposite Poipet district in Cambodia, and improvement of the existing tracks from Klong Sip Kao station to Aranyaprathet.
A bridge between Klong Luek and Poipet must be improved, and negotiations will take place with Cambodia on possible cost-sharing of the construction, the minister added.
The move followed a pledge by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday to speed up the rail connection between the two countries.
The Aranyaprathet-Klong Luek sector was cut during the war in Cambodia, and has been left unused for almost three decades. The SRT must evict 50 households illegally occupying areas near the tracks before beginning the rehabilitation.
The Klong Luek-Poipet checkpoint is the main land gateway between Thailand and Cambodia. About 20,000 people cross the border every day, and trade through the checkpoint is worth 50 billion baht a year.
Mr Chadchat said the completed tracks will boost tourism and trade ties between the two countries.
The one-metre gauge tracks will connect with the Cambodian railway to Phnom Penh and onward to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Cambodia is improving its 337km line from Phnom Penh to Poipet, expected to be completed some time between next year and 2015, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
The project is financed by a loan from the Asian Development Bank, and also includes the 256km line linking Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. The line was reopened in December last year.
The SRT will build a new 10km line along the border from Klong Luek to Ban Nong Ean, the minister said.
Thailand and Cambodia plan to open a new checkpoint at Bang Nong Ean to ease congestion at the Klong Luek checkpoint.
About the author
- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook