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Thailand’s High Speed Railway Way Behind Schedule Only 15% Complete

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hai-Chinese High Speed Railway Project Only 15% Complete

Thailand’s Transport Ministry, reports construction of the Thai-Chinese high speed railway project is way behind schedule and may need to be renegotiated.

Development of the project’s first phase between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima is now running behind schedule and is only 15% completed when it should have been 37%.

On Monday, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob presided over a meeting attended by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The insider told the Bangkok Post that the delay was largely due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, severe delays in the property expropriation process, and the relocation of public utility wires from near the construction site.

The high speed railway project’s major contract, worth 50.6 billion baht and covering the railway infrastructure, rolling equipment, staff training, and technology transfer for the 253-kilometer route from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, has a March 2026 deadline.

According to the source, the contract will have to be extended due to the current conditions.

High speed rail project thailand

The first part of the high speed railway project was planned to be completed in 2026.

The second phase, a 356km segment from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai, was previously expected to be completed three to four years after the first phase.

Mr Saksayam announced on Tuesday that Laos will attend a conference with Thailand and China early next year to formally discuss the idea to connect the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail line to Laos’ rail network.

He stated that the progress report delivered at Monday’s meeting would be transmitted to Chinese President Xi Jinping via the NDRC.

Furthermore, the idea to build a new Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, he stated that China has expressed its willingness to assist in all processes, adding that the new bridge’s site will be close to the present ones.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Lao counterpart, Phankham Viphavanh, reached an agreement in principle to build more Friendship bridges to boost economic growth.

The informal agreement was apparently made while the two leaders were attending a ceremony to lay the foundation stones for the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge on October 28.

Bangkok Canal Project

Bangkok canal project faces setback

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has cancelled the bidding for the two last phases of a city canal renovation project including Klong Chong Nonsi public park.

According to City Hall officials, only one company has expressed interest in bidding on the 4th and 5th stages of the 980-million-baht canal redevelopment plan.

The fourth phase, which is part of the larger Klong Chong Nonsi reconstruction project, has a budget of 250 million baht, and the fifth phase has a budget of 200 million baht. During the previous governor’s tenure, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang, bidders were chosen for the first three phases.

The first phase of bidding, from Surawongse Road to Sathon Road, was completed with a median price of 79.9 million baht. However, the project was delayed by three months since six companies purchased bidding envelopes but did not return an offer by December 4th, last year. On March 11, this year, City Hall cancelled that round and sought new bids.

The first phase’s contractor was announced on April 5. Wiwatpol Engineering won the contract after tendering 79 million baht, or about a million baht less than the median price.

The median price in the second phase, which included the area from Sathon Road to Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Soi 7, was set at 79.7 million baht and was made public on June 17 of last year. On July 15, last year, Trio Bright was named the winner with their 79 million baht bid, and the deal was signed less than a month later.

The contract for the third phase, a 370-million-baht development from Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Soi 7 to Chan Road, was won by a consortium called DW, which presented a price offer of 366.1 million baht.

Previously, Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, requested that the project be investigated by the state auditor.

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