Thai Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith (Photo: nwnt.prd.go.th)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - The Thai Minister of Transport has confirmed that work on the Bangkok-Nong Khai high speed rail system will begin in October, once the government secures the cooperation of China in September.

Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on July 18 that considerable progress has been made in preparing to start the first phase, which is the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed rail project, covering a total 235 km and requiring a budget of 179.413 billion baht for completion.

The minister recently led a delegation to take part in the 19th Thailand-China Joint Commission meeting in Beijing and informed the Chinese side that conclusions on the project’s agreement have been put to the State Railway of Thailand's board and are pending Cabinet review.

It is expected that design work and all pertinent agreements will be concluded by September so that construction of the railway can begin in October. The initial fast train undertaking is to take four years, ending in 2021, with service on the first phase of the line to begin immediately. Discussions on the second phase are to commence this August.

Arkhom reiterated the benefits the project will bring and how it will greatly improve transport for the Thai public, encouraging all to see the long term positives the rail line can offer.-VNA