Railroad to nowhere
Work to begin on new high-speed railway
The cabinet has given the go-ahead for the Highways Department to begin building the first 3.5km section of the Thai-Sino high-speed train project stretching from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.
Construction begins tomorrow when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over a token launching ceremony for the 179-billion-baht Sino-Thai high-speed network at tambon Klang Dong, Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the first section stretching from Klang Dong to Pang Asoke will be on flat terrain and the engineering work for the railway is similar to that of roads and motorways.
As a result, the cabinet instructed the Highways Department to develop the first section with a budget of 425.94 million baht as proposed by the Transport Ministry.
The second section is an 11km stretch from Sikhiu district to Kud Jik in Sung Noen district. Construction will begin in August next year and will take 12 months to complete.
The third section is the 119.5km run from Kaeng Khoi of Saraburi to Nakhon Ratchasima. Work will commence in November and last for 30 months.
The construction of the fourth section is from Bang Sue of Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi with a length of 119km, starting in January 2019 and will take another 30 months to complete.
Thanin Somboon, director-general of the Highways Department, said he has set up four working groups with a total of 100 officers to oversee construction of the first section.
The construction of the first section would be used as a model for the remaining three sections, he said.
The Transport Ministry said China will submit a design for each section on a gradual basis over six months.
In another development, Mr Arkhom said the cabinet approved the budget framework for the first phases of five new double-track railways for a total of 95.49 billion baht.
SRT is one of the country's most debt-ridden state enterprises. It has accumulated debts of more than 100 billion baht.
Learn from listening
- accumulate: to get more and more of something over a period of time - เก็บสะสม, สะสม, สั่งสมมานาน
- asset: something owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน
- auction: a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด
- ceremony (noun): a formal public event - งานพิธี
- contractor: a person or company whose job is to do work for another person, organisation, company, etc. - ผู้รับเหมา
- debt-ridden: owing a lot of money - มีหนี้สินมาก
- guarantor: a person who agrees to be responsible for somebody or for making sure that something happens or is done - ผู้ค้ำประกัน
- instruct (verb): to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way - สั่ง
- liquidity: a situation in which an organisation, company, business, etc. has the money it needs to pay its bills - สภาพคล่อง
- oversee: to watch something in order to check that it works or happens in the way that it should - ตรวจตรา
- preside over: to lead or be in charge of - รับผิดชอบ
- terrain: an area of land, usually one that has particular physical features - ภูมิประเทศ
- token: done simply in order to show people that you are doing something and not because what you do has any real importance or effectiveness - ที่ทำพอเป็นพิธี