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BANGKOK: Transport Minister Chatchat Sittiphan announced earlier this week that Thailand will build two, high-speed railway lines, one running from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and the other running from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Nong Khai.
The multi-billion dollar project will employ Chinese-made railway components and is expected to reach completion in 2015, according to a report from MySinchew.com.
Once completed, the train system will carry travellers at rates of 250 to 300 kilometres per hour, meaning commuters will be able close the distance between Chiang Mai and the capital in only three and a half hours.
A timeline has yet to be announced, but ministers involved with the project have speculated that the train may one day be connected with the city of Kunming in southwest China, as well as the Laotian capital of Vientiane.
Plans are also underway to connect the Thai railway system with railways in Myanmar and Malaysia.
The price tag for the project, however, is tremendous. The Bangkok-Chiang Mai railway alone will cost US$10 billion and the Bangkok-Nong Khai railway has a projected cost of US$6.6 billion.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in the latter half of next year.
This article first appeared on www.thephuketnews.com
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