Thailand is preparing to launch the country’s first bullet train that will run between Bangkok and Beijing, China, with Laos as one of the intermediate stations.
The “Trans-ASEAN Line” will cover 3,193 kilometers at the cost of about THB 2.07 trillion (USD 67.2 billion) and link Thailand’s Bang Sue with Chiang Mai in the North, Laos in the Northeast, Cambodia in the East and Malaysia in the South.
The Thai government also plans to link the county to other nations as far as Singapore and China through high-speed railways.
It is unclear when the new line would be 100% completed, but the Thai government has already begun the construction of some routes and will “keep calling bids” for the project, Bangkok Post reported on July 6.
In particular, the first route, a Thai-Sino project linking Bangkok and Nong Khai in the far Northeast, is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by 2023.
This is a boon to residents in Laos, which is located right next to Nong Khai, since another rail route will take passengers to the Lao capital of Vientiane from the borderline.
The route will reach Mohan, a border town in China’s southern province.
A 414-kilometer new route between Vientiane and Mohan is now 55% complete, said an unnamed Lao official, as quoted by Bangkok Post.
The new line will shorten a traveling time between Vientiane to Mohan from the current up to two days to only three hours.
The Lao official added that the new line would draw between 10 and 20 million Chinese tourists to the country each year.