Building a high-speed railway through Thailand
10-13-2013 10:34 BJT
By CCTV correspondent Tony Cheng
The basic agreements to build a high speed rail network linking China and Thailand have been in place for some time. But, construction has not yet started after disagreements over the exact route of the railway. As CCTV’s Tony Cheng reports from Bangkok, there appears to be renewed momentum now in getting the megaproject underway.
Catching the slow train to nowhere.
Thailand’s rail system has fallen into disrepair over recent years. A lack of investment in infrastructure and rolling stock, and the popularity of road and air travel. But that could all be about to change.
Chinese Premier Li Ke Qiang arrives to open an exhibition about the high speed rail network which could connect China to Thailand, and on to Singapore. The project appeared to have lost momentum but the Chinese government is keen to push ahead. And at the highest levels of the Thai government consensus that it is time to get moving.
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The project could yet be derailed. Proposals put before the Thai parliament earlier this year for investment in the rail network met serious criticism. Many feel the benefits for Thailand don’t merit the investment required. That may be where China steps in. With Chinese technology, but most importantly, financial backing, the high speed rail dream could move from fantasy to fact.
The public backing of the Chinese government at the highest level, could give the project the momentum it needs. And keep it on track until Beijing is just a train ride away,
Tony Cheng CCTV Bangkok Thailand.