The 480-kilometer railway is set to connect economic zones in Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Sakhon Nakhon, Ubon Ratchathani, Nong Khai, and Nong Bua Lamphu provinces with U-Tapao International Airport in Rayong province, according to Palang Pracharath leader and deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwan during a press conference at the party headquarters.
“Once elected to form the new government, this project can commence immediately, as we have been planning it for several years,” announced Prawit, who is also the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
The railway is an integral component of the party’s “Isaan Pracharath” initiative, focusing on expediting economic development in the Northeast, colloquially known as “Isaan” in Thai.
Approximately one-third of Thailand’s population resides in this drought-prone region, where inadequate irrigation and infrastructure constraints have hampered the growth of its predominantly agriculture-based economy. The region is a stronghold of the opposition Pheu Thai Party.
Prawit divulged that the railway’s tracks would be as wide as the ones planned for the high-speed rail project, measuring 1.435 meters. In addition, the party has promised to construct an eight-lane highway adjacent to the railway, connecting six new industrial estates. These estates will house around 6,000 factories, focusing primarily on advanced industries.
Palang Pracharath members have asserted that the new railway and industrial estates will attract 4.5 trillion baht in foreign direct investment, predominantly from China and Europe. Deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan announced that the party submitted the project plan and funding details to the Election Commission. Political parties are legally required to inform the commission about how they plan to fund campaign promises.
Earlier in the week, Palang Pracharath pledged to reduce benzene prices to 18 baht per liter and diesel by 6.30 baht per liter if they maintain their grip on power. They also vowed to cut electricity rates to 2.5 baht per unit for household users and 2.7 baht per unit for the industry sector. Furthermore, the party has committed to increasing monthly payments under the state welfare scheme to 700 baht.