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Thailand-China high speed train to start construction in 2011

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Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban revealed on Monday that the construction of the 800 billion baht (RM84.03 million) high speed train project is scheduled to start next year, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

The high speed trains, travelling 200 kilometres per hour is a joint venture between Thailand and China.

Before leaving for the World Congress on High Speed train in Beijing, organised by the Chinese Train Ministry, Suthep divulged that he and the Deputy Prime Minister of China and Laos held a discussion on routes that will connect three countries, agreeing that it is a good starting point for future routes for travelling in the Asian region.

The first two routes commencing construction in 2011 is Nong Khai (northeastern Thailand)-Bangkok and Bangkok-Padang Basar (Malaysia), where China is an investor in the project.

Meanwhile, the routes given a nod from the Thai Parliament in October include Bangkok-Rayong (eastern Thailand), Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani (northeastern Thailand), and Bangkok-Chiang Mai (northern Thailand).

In a related development, the China Railway Engineering Cooperation (CRECR) has expressed its readiness after being visited by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on track quality and train expertise which were modelled after Japan and Germany.

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