Deputy Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith indicated on Wednesday all survey work for the Nong Khai-Bangkok and Nong Khai-Map Ta Phut standard gauge railways will be completed within August. Mr. Arkhom said after the day’s meeting of economy-related ministers that the Ministry of Transport had reported the progress made on the railway projects as a result of three official discussions with China. In summary, China will take responsibility for the railways design, the technologies to be used, as well as the type of rail, but construction will be carried out by Thai companies. The train service itself will be jointly operated, possibly through a joint venture company. Funding will come from several sources, including state budget, loans from domestic banks and loans from China.
The survey and design works will be completed within August, after which a construction go-ahead for the projects is expected in September. Construction itself is expected to commence in October, according to Mr. Arkhom.