High Speed Rail To Launch In 2026
The Thai government just announced that the first phase of the high-speed rail line connecting Bangkok and Kunming (a city in Southern China) will be complete and ready to go by 2026. This first phase will be 251 KM long and will include key stops at Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, and Pak Chong… all strategic locations offering convenient access and connectivity to a slew of secondary regions within Thailand. Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri emphasized the positive impact the rail link is expected to have on Thailand’s tourism industry and overall economy. The government says that the collaboration with China will bring valuable expertise in high-speed railway construction while also signifying a milestone in Thailand’s infrastructure development.
Although I love the idea of Thailand being a country with a fully developed high speed rail system, it seems likely that this is all part China’s greater ‘Belt and Road’ initiative as far as commanding influence in the region (and beyond) goes. To have China leading the charge on the build-out will ensure that things happen quickly (as their some of the best high speed rail builders in the world), but it likely also comes with other repercussions. We shall see how this plays out.