Thai-China rail project: Korat in just 77 minutes

Thai-China rail project: Korat in just 77 minutes

A youngster checks out a model of the proposed Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima railway, with the final design and construction details to be settled soon. (File photo)
A youngster checks out a model of the proposed Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima railway, with the final design and construction details to be settled soon. (File photo)

Railway to Nakhon Ratchasima will cost 535 baht & is key first step in future railway projects with China.


Thai-China rail project: Nakhon Ratchasima in just 77 mins

High-speed train to cut commutes from 2021
Chatrudee Theparat

Commuters and other passengers will be able to travel from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima in 1 hour and 17 minutes using the Thai-Chinese high-speed train in four years' time,

One-way fares will cost 535 baht, the government said Tuesday.


The rail project has courted controversy for its use of Chinese engineers among other issues.

The rail line will cover the roughly 260-kilometre route at a maximum speed of 250 km/h starting in 2021.

At present, traveling the same distance using a provincial bus takes 4-5 hours.


The cabinet was shown full details of the 179-billion-baht project, which is being operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

After a period of consideration it decided to approve construction.

Six trains will cover the route initially, each accommodating about 600 passengers.


The rail line is expected to handle 5,300 passengers a day, or one- quarter of all commuters who currently use public transport to travel this route.

Mr Kobsak said passengers will be charged a flat fee (flat rate) of 80 baht plus 1.8 baht per km.

This makes the price of a ticket to Saraburi 278 baht, or 393 baht from Bangkok to Pak Chong, and 535 baht from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.

This is according to Kobsak Pootrakool, vice- minister to the Prime Minister's Office speaking after the meeting.

There will be six stations, namely, Bang Sue, Don Muang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima.


A total of 2,815 rai needs to be expropriated from various districts, including Bang Sue and Don Muang in Bangkok, parts of Ayutthaya and Saraburi, and Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district, Mr Kobsak said.

Projecting ahead, he said up to 23 trains will be running at 35-minute intervals from the year 2051, when the route is expected to accommodate 26,800 passengers a day.


Mr Kobsak said the project will be 100% government funded (financed).

Of the total budget, 2.6 billion baht will be invested this year, 43 billion baht next year, 62.2 billion baht in 2019, 59.7 billion baht in 2020 and 12 billion baht in 2021, according to the Transport Ministry.

Construction work will account for 75% of the project's value, with the remainder to be spent on the train system itself, Mr Kobsak said.


The project's expected economic internal rate of return (EIRR) is 8.56%, but this will grow to 11.68% when the results of land and town development along the route are factored in, he said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted the project was not showing favouritism to China but was necessary to forge rail links with a neighbouring country.


The project is part of a larger plan to link the Map Ta Phut industrial zone in the coastal province of Rayong to the northeastern province of Nong Khai, which borders Laos.

Laos, like Myanmar and Vietnam, share land borders with China.

Mr Kobsak said the railway will help Thailand become a transport hub in Asean and link up with China's One Belt, One Road initiative.

The government will sign three contracts with China to oversee construction, design and the electric system of the project, he said.

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  • accommodate: to provide a place for someone - ให้ที่พักพิง
  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • account for: to be a particular amount or part of something -
  • approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
  • at present (adv): now...., currently .... - ในปัจจุบัน
  • border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • charge (verb): to ask an amount of money for goods or a service - เรียกเก็บเงิน
  • coastal: of an area of land beside the sea - แนวชายฝั่งทะเล
  • commuters: people who regularly travel between work and home - คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
  • consideration: giving careful thought to something before making a decision - การคิดพิจารณา
  • construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
  • contract: an official written agreement - สัญญา
  • controversy: a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง
  • court: to try to obtain or get something -
  • cover: include -
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • detail (noun): the small facts or features of something - รายละเอียด, ส่วนเล็กๆ น้อยๆ, ส่วนย่อย
  • distance (noun): the amount of space between two places or things; being far away - ความห่างไกล
  • district (noun): an area of a country, town or province, especially one that has particular features - เขต, อำเภอ, บริเวณ, แขวง
  • engineer (noun): a person whose job involves designing and building engines, machines, roads, bridges, etc. - วิศวกร
  • fare: the money that you pay for a journey - ค่าโดยสาร
  • favouritism: the unfair practice of giving someone help or advantages that you do not give to others - ความลำเอียง, การเล่นพรรคเล่นพวก
  • fee: an amount of money that someone pays to be allowed to do something, or in this case, to hire someone - ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าจ้าง
  • finance: to provide money for something - จัดหาเงินทุนให้
  • flat fee: single price for a service - ค่าคงตัว
  • flat rate: a single price for a service - ค่าคงตัว
  • forge: create -
  • fund: to provide money for something - ให้เงินทุน
  • handle: to be able deal with a situation - ควบคุมได้, จัดการได้
  • hub: the central and most important part of a particular place or activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง, จุดรวม
  • industrial: relating to industry - เกี่ยวกับอุตสาหกรรม
  • initially: at first - ในเบื้องต้น
  • initiative: a new action or movement, often intended to solve a problem - ความคิดริเริ่ม
  • interval (noun): a period of time between two events - ช่วงเวลา, ช่วง, ระยะเวลา
  • invest: to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน
  • issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
  • line (noun): a public transportation route that a bus or train travels along sending people from one place to another place -
  • link: a connection - การเชื่อมต่อ
  • maximum: the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • necessary (adj.): essential, needful, something that you must do or have - จำเป็น, ซึ่งเลี่ยงไม่ได้, ซึ่งเป็นที่ต้องการ, สำคัญ
  • neighbour: someone who lives near you, - เพื่อนบ้าน
  • operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ
  • oversee: to watch something in order to check that it works or happens in the way that it should - ตรวจตรา
  • passengers (noun): people who travel in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • period: a particular length of time - ระยะเวลา
  • project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ
  • project: to make a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have - คาดคะเน
  • province: one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
  • provincial (adj): related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country - ประจำจังหวัด, ส่วนท้องถิ่น
  • public transport: the system of buses, trains, etc. provided by the government or by companies, which people use to travel from one place to another - ขนส่งมวลชน
  • quarter: one of four equal parts of something; 25 percent - หนึ่งในสี่ส่วน
  • railway: the whole transportation system of trains connecting stations along rail tracks - รางรถไฟ, ระบบทางรถไฟ
  • remainder: the part of something that is left after that rest have been considered, left, finished, etc. - ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
  • roughly: approximately but not exactly - โดยประมาณ, อย่างคร่าวๆ
  • route: the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
  • route: the roads, paths, waterways, etc., used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • station: train station; a place where a train stops and picks up passengers and cargo - สถานีรถไฟฟ้า
  • total: including everything; being the amount or number after everyone or everything is counted or added together - ทั้งหมด
  • transport: moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง
  • Transport Ministry (noun): The government ministry oversing all matters related to transportation, including highways, air transport and safety, licensing, road taxes, etc. - กระทรวงคมนาคม
  • value: how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า
  • vice- (pref): the second person in charge of and managing an organization - รอง
  • zone: an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
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