(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- Thailand's government confirmed yesterday that it has officially approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Phase I project of the Sino-Thai Railway Cooperative Project.
Construction is expected to start late this month, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Thailand's environment agency passed the report on the two-stage EIA of Phase I of the project on Nov. 30, Thailand's natural resources and environment ministry announced. Combined with the first-stage EIA of the project's Phase I previously announced, the whole-line EIA of the Phase I project has now gotten the nod from the Thai government.
After the adoption of EIA, the project is expected to be started late this month, said Thai transport minister Arkhom at a news conference yesterday. Thailand and China have begun talks on the Phase II project and the project's linkup with the Sino-Laotian Railway, Arkhom said at a Nov. 24 meeting of the Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation.
The Sino-Thai Railway is the first high-speed standard-gauge railroad in Thailand. The Phase I project is 253 kilometers long and has a designed maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour. The Phase II project will extend this rail line to Nong Khai, a Thai town across the river from Laos' capital of Vientiane and will connect with the Boten to Vientiane section of the Sino-Laotian Rail. This project will further promote Thailand's transport hub status on the Indo-China Peninsula and inject new vitality into its economic development, while benefiting all countries along the line.