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Construction of the Thai-Chinese rail development project linking Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima is expected to begin in November, Deputy Transport Minister Pichit Akrathit said yesterday.
Mr Pichit was speaking after the latest meeting on the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway project, the 21st so far, in Tianjin, China, attended by Transport Minister Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and Wang Xiaotao, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission.
He said Thailand and China have signed an agreement on engineering procurement construction (EPC) and a contract to officially kick-start the joint development scheme should be ready on Oct 9.
The construction design should be passed to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) in mid-October with construction work likely to begin in November, he added.
Under the joint scheme, Thailand is the project owner and China is responsible for certain engineering work and procuring track systems and equipment.
According to Mr Pichit, a first group of 76 Chinese engineers have undergone training and sat exams to test their understanding of Thai law and professional code of ethics as well as their engineering expertise.
The training and tests for the 179-billion-baht project were designed by the Council of Engineers in line with an order issued under Section 44.
About 400 Chinese engineers are due to be trained and tested. They need a 60% score to past the tests.
The 21st meeting focused on the details of a contract involving mechanical and electrical systems, carriages, and future plans for the line extension from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai.
This article first appeared on www.bangkokpost.com
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