Ministry aims for double-track rail link from Nakhon Ratchasima to Laos

Ministry aims for double-track rail link from Nakhon Ratchasima to Laos

KHON KAEN: The Transport Ministry plans to develop a double-track railway project linking Nakhon Ratchasima and Laos' Pakse, minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says.

Mr Arkhom said the ministry is speeding up the process of sending the project to cabinet for consideration.

The project was brought up following the recent joint cabinet retreat between the Thai and Lao governments, which agreed that a feasibility study of a new rail route from Thailand to Laos should be carried out. The planned rail route passes through Ubon Ratchathani.

Mr Arkhom was speaking yesterday as he presided over the signing ceremony for cooperation between Rajabhat universities in the Northeast and state and private sectors to enhance labour skills in the logistics field in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

He said the government is keen on rail development and transport linkages over the northeastern provinces. Various projects have made significant headway, the minister said. Mr Arkhom said air transport development has also been supported in many provinces.

The ministry is now focusing on the logistic systems that also concerns tourism industry, he said.

He said the double-track railway project from Thanon Jira Junction in Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen is about 90% complete and the rail extension from Khon Kaen to the border province of Nong Khai is about to be presented to the cabinet for approval.

The ministry is also preparing to bring the railway project linking Khon Kaen's Ban Phai, Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom to the cabinet for consideration, he said.

Referring to the high-speed train project between Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai, Mr Arkhom said the ministry is seeking a budget to design the project.

Regarding road projects in the Northeast next year, he said focus will be placed on the widening of traffic lanes in Bung Kan province that would connect Laos.

The project would be carried out in conjunction with the planned construction of the 5th Thai-Lao friendship bridge, which will connect Bung Kan and Bolikhamsai province in Laos.

Mr Arkhom said another Thai-Lao friendship bridge linking Ubon Ratchathani with Salavan province in Laos is also on the cards.

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