The cabinet has asked the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to quickly design and build a second bridge from Nong Khai province to Laos, to connect to the new China-Laos Railway.
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Carnival said in a meeting that the government’s committee on the Thai-Laos-Chinese railway, which he chaired on January 14, ordered the SRT to quickly make the new bridge a reality, the Bangkok Post reported.
It would cross the Mekong River from Nong Khai to Laos and facilitate cargo transport through the three countries on the transnational railway. The committee gave the green light for the SRT to request a budget for the project.
The Deputy PM said the Chinese-Lao railway started operating on December 2 and would bring economic development from western China through Laos to Thailand when the railway extends to Thailand. It would cut cargo transport costs between China and Thailand via Laos by between 30 and 50 percent.
After the opening of the Chinese railway, cross-border cargo transport between Thailand and China is one day faster than previous conventional transport also the cost is cut off by 25 percent.
Previous month Thai government did set up a working group which was suggested by the Ministry of Transport to better coordinate with the transport authorities in Laos on the construction of a railway connecting the two neighboring countries which was a part of a high-speed rail project linking Thailand’s railway system with the China-Laos railway between Kunming in China’s Yunnan province and Vientiane.
In the meantime, the Department of Rail Transport (DRT), in collaboration with SRT, is all set to turn Nong Khai province into a logistics hub for the China-Laos high-speed railway. The SRT is also eyeing Na Tha station in the center of Nong Khai province for this purpose and is also seeking funding for research and analyzing options for public and private partnerships.