The government has affirmed its plans to invest in high-speed railway projects connecting Thailand and neighboring countries as part of its regional connectivity development plan.
Responding to criticism from politicians on the high-speed railway plan, Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday the government put more attention on a connectivity development plan involving 10 Asean countries.
The connectivity includes people, infrastructure, regulations, and all cooperation, especially the connection of transport development along with domestic readiness, he said.
“Every process is in keeping with our plan on connecting Thailand with other countries. But all investments must take into account national interest, the benefits to our people and its potential,” he said.
He said this year the government planned to invest in four high-speed rail lines. They are Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima in cooperation with China, Bangkok-Phitsanulok in cooperation with Japan, Bangkok-Rayong, and Bangkok-Hua Hin.
The Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima line will be extended to Nong Khai to connect to Laos, China, and Europe, he said.
Moreover, the Ministry of Transport is also studying the feasibility of a Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur line, Sansern said.
The Transport and Traffic Policy Plan Office will soon propose an electrified dual-track railway project from Hat Yai to Padang Besar for consideration by the Ministry of Transport and Cabinet.