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Sino-Thai High-Speed Rail Project: Prasert Jantararuangtong Reveals Progress and Future Plans

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Work is humming along on the elevated portion of the high-speed rail tracks, connecting Saraburi and Kaeng Khoi, since January last year. This 12.9-kilometre segment is an integral part of the broader Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed train route. Just imagine cruising along these tracks at high speeds! (Photo: High-speed train project Saraburi-Kaeng Khoi)

The wheels of progress keep turning for the Sino-Thai high-speed rail (HSR) link, as this ambitious project will take center stage during the mobile cabinet meeting set for Nakhon Ratchasima next week. The urgency to advance this project is palpable, thanks to Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong’s announcement on Tuesday. The sprawling 250.77-kilometre high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima is slated for completion sometime in 2028—a date that now feels tantalizingly close.

Currently, the first phase of the project is soaking up about 179.41 billion baht and is well underway. But the bullet train isn’t the only thing on the government’s agenda. The forthcoming meeting will also tackle improvements in double-track rail upgrades between the two cities and plans to revamp Nakhon Ratchasima airport, transforming the province into a Northeast transportation hub, Mr. Prasert disclosed. It’s a multifaceted effort aimed at elevating Nakhon Ratchasima’s status as a hotspot for international exhibitions, meetings, and summits—a stage that’s set to welcome events as prestigious as the 2029 International Horticultural Expo.

Mr. Prasert had even more up his sleeve. He revealed the ministry’s ambitious plan to roll out “digital volunteers” on the first day of the mobile cabinet meeting. Armed with a mission to boost digital awareness and literacy among Thai citizens, these volunteers will be pioneers of the government’s digital frontier.

Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University’s (NRRU) local soft power development committee conducted a brainstorming meeting to unearth the province’s soft power potential. Samart Jubjon, a maestro sculptor with the NRRU, mentioned that experts from all 32 districts assembled to contribute their insights. Tuesday’s meeting was dedicated to distilling elements of the province’s unique identity and culture that could be spotlighted in future promotional activities.

The excitement builds as the committee gears up to submit a detailed list of their findings to the government during the mobile cabinet’s convening next week. This synergistic push to blend infrastructure and cultural elements could very well redefine Nakhon Ratchasima’s future, placing it on the global map of must-visit locales.


  1. Alex Lew June 25, 2024

    I think this high-speed rail project is a game-changer for Thailand. It will massively boost tourism and local economies!

    • Tom June 25, 2024

      But do we really need to spend 179.41 billion baht? That money could be used for education and healthcare instead.

      • Sarah K. June 25, 2024

        Tom, investing in infrastructure can actually generate more revenue that can later be used for education and healthcare.

      • Alex Lew June 25, 2024

        Exactly, Sarah! Plus, it will reduce travel times and make transportation more efficient for everyone.

  2. tech_guru89 June 25, 2024

    Digital volunteers? Sounds like another bureaucratic gimmick to me.

    • Lily Davis June 25, 2024

      Don’t be so cynical! Digital literacy is important, especially in rural areas where people may not have access to tech education.

      • tech_guru89 June 25, 2024

        I get that, Lily, but will these volunteers be effective, or is it just a political move to show they are ‘doing something’?

  3. David June 25, 2024

    Can’t wait to see the cultural initiatives unfold. Soft power is such an underrated aspect of development!

    • CultureLover June 25, 2024

      Yes, David! The unique identity of Nakhon Ratchasima could attract international tourists and even foreign investments.

      • Karen June 25, 2024

        But will the local culture be commodified and lose its authenticity in the process?

  4. John Smith June 25, 2024

    The project seems overly ambitious. I doubt they’ll meet the 2028 deadline.

    • optimist88 June 25, 2024

      Come on, John. Think positive! They’ve made significant progress already.

      • John Smith June 25, 2024

        I’m just being realistic. Delays and budget overruns are the rule, not the exception, in such massive projects.

  5. Lisa June 25, 2024

    Can the Nakhon Ratchasima airport really be transformed into a Northeast transportation hub? Sounds far-fetched.

  6. BangkokResident1 June 25, 2024

    I’m concerned about the environmental impact of this project. How much green space will we lose?

    • eco_warrior June 25, 2024

      That’s a valid concern. Environmental impact should be a consideration in these projects.

  7. Sammy June 25, 2024

    I live near the proposed rail site. Will the government compensate those who are displaced?

  8. Traveler June 25, 2024

    This will definitely make traveling within Thailand more efficient. No more long bus rides!

    • Backpacker123 June 25, 2024

      But the scenic bus routes are part of the adventure!

  9. businessman_T June 25, 2024

    As an entrepreneur, I see nothing but opportunities here. New markets will open up along the rail line.

  10. Jamie June 25, 2024

    I’m not convinced this rail will be used by locals. It feels like it’s geared more towards tourists.

    • LocalMan June 26, 2024

      Jamie, locals will use it too. It’s not just for tourists. Plus, it can ease the current traffic congestion.

      • Jamie June 26, 2024

        I hope so! Otherwise, it’s just another vanity project.

  11. GlobalCitizen June 26, 2024

    What about the integration with other ASEAN countries? Will the rail link extend beyond Thailand?

    • 1294Mark June 26, 2024

      That’s an intriguing idea. Cross-border rail would be transformative for the region.

  12. Jerry June 26, 2024

    Just imagine the job opportunities this project will create! Everyone benefits.

    • Skeptic_Tom June 26, 2024

      Jerry, those jobs might be temporary. What happens once the rail is completed?

      • Jerry June 26, 2024

        Skeptic_Tom, operational and maintenance jobs will still be needed. It’s a long-term gain.

  13. Gail June 26, 2024

    The 2029 International Horticultural Expo sounds incredible. It will put Nakhon Ratchasima on the world stage!

  14. Faizal June 26, 2024

    I wonder how this will affect local businesses in the short term. Will they survive the construction phase?

    • Joanna June 26, 2024

      Hopefully, there will be support programs for local businesses to navigate the transition.

      • Faizal June 26, 2024

        That would definitely be necessary. The government needs to think about the little guys too.

  15. Marcus June 26, 2024

    Will the ticket prices be affordable for the average Thai citizen?

    • Traveler June 26, 2024

      That’s crucial, Marcus. If it’s too expensive, it defeats the purpose of public transportation.

  16. Elena June 26, 2024

    I’m curious about the types of digital initiatives the volunteers will introduce. Could be a great way to learn about technology.

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