According to officials, the first of the project’s two phases, worth 434 billion baht, is anticipated to be finished by 2026. From Bangkok, the lines would travel 609 kilometers to Nong Khai, a province on Thailand’s northeastern border with Laos, where a Mekong River bridge would be built to connect to the China-Laos high-speed rail system. By 2026, Thailand intends to have a trial run, and by 2027, a formal debut. 12 percent of the first stage is complete, according to Pichet Kunadhamraks, director-general of the Department of Rail Transport. The 253-kilometer route, which would cost 180 billion baht, will link the Thai capital with the Isan province of Nakhon Ratchasima. The second phase will travel 356 kilometers northeast to the Laos border and cost 254 billion Thai Baht. Thailand reiterated its support for the project during a meeting on Tuesday between Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The project was first suggested in 2014 as a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The long-delayed high-speed rail infrastructure connecting Thailand with China and Laos, according to the government, will be completed by 2028.

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