China – Thailand High-Speed Railway

Written by Vivi Updated Mar. 21, 2022

The China - Thailand High-Speed Railway refers to the section of the Trans-Asian Railway in Thailand, from Nong Khai, the northern port of Thailand, to the capital city of Bangkok and the eastern industrial town of Rayong, a double-track standard-gauge railway that will link China, Laos and Thailand, with a total length of 873 kilometers. It will be terminated at Kunming of Yunnan Province in southwest China, and Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.


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Introduction of China – Thailand High-Speed Railway

Thailand train

China – Thailand Railway Sections

The China - Thailand Railway is the first standard gauge high-speed railway in Thailand, which uses Chinese technology. It consists of sections of railways: Kunming – Yuxi, Yuxi – Mohan, Mohan – Vientiane, Vientiane (Nong Khai) - Bangkok.

Kunming – Yuxi Railway

Opened in 2016, the Kunming – Yuxi High-Speed Railway is a section of the existing China – Vietnam and China – Laos international railroads. This 88-kilometer-long railway had been electrified with a designed speed of 200 km/h.

Kunming – Yuxi Railway is terminated at Kunming South Railway Station and Yuxi Railway Station. This section of railway is connected with Shanghai - Kunming Passenger Dedicated Line and Nanning - Kunming Passenger Dedicated Line and integrated into the national high-speed rail network. In domestic rail network, it constitutes the high-speed rail channel of the southwest Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Beibu Gulf. In terms of international rail network, it connects with other Asian countries including Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, etc.

Yuxi – Mohan Railway

The Yuxi – Mohan Railway has been completed but has not yet been put into service. It is an electrified railroad connecting Yuxi and Mohan, a China – Laos border located in Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province, China. It is a section of the China - Laos Railway. Starting from Yuxi Railway Station in the north and reaching Mohan Railway Station in the south, this railway has a total length of 507 kilometers, with 13 intermediate stations and a design speed of 160 km/h.

The Yuxi – Mohan Railway section of Kunming - Bangkok Railway, as well as an important part of the Trans-Asian Railway network.

Mohan – Vientiane Railway

Mohan – Vientiane Railway started constructing in 2015 and is expected to be put into service by the end of 2021. It connects Mohan in China to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos via Luang Prabang, an ancient city of Laos. The designed running speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) and the total length is 427 kilometers (265 miles).

Upon completion of the Mohan – Vientiane Railway, it will connect the China - Thailand railway network through the Vientiane - Bangkok railway, and connects with Malaysia and Singapore in the future.

Vientiane (Nong Khai) – Bangkok Railway

The construction of this high-speed railway will start by the end of 2021 and will last for five years. The Nong Khai – Bangkok High-Speed Railway consists of two sections of Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima and Nakhon Ratchasima – Nong Khai.

The Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima section has a total length of 253 kilometers with a designed speed of 250 km/h. The travel time of this rail route from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima is estimated to be 1 hour and 17 minutes when it is completed between late 2026 and early 2027.

The construction of the Nakhon Ratchasima – Nong Khai section has a total length of 346 kilometers. The construction will start in 2022 and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2029.

Vientiane train station

Construction of China – Thailand Railway

The China - Thailand Railway starts from Bangkok, Thailand in the south, and connects with China - Laos railway in the north, forming a major channel directly to Kunming. It is an important project of the "Belt and Road Initiative" jointly built by China and Thailand, which will strongly promote Thailand's infrastructure construction and economic and social development. This railway is not only the first high-speed railway in Thailand, but also the first high-speed railway project in the world that uses Chinese high-speed railway design standards and is funded by the host country itself.

The construction of China – Thailand Railway was first proposed at the fifth ASEAN Summit in 1995, which was immediately endorsed by ASEAN leaders and the Chinese government. In 2006, the initiative of building the Trans-Asian Railway was proposed, which include the China – Thailand Railway. However, in the next few years, the project was postponed due to political reasons.

At the beginning of 2017, with the promotion of all parties, the project and commencement time of the China - Thailand Railway were basically determined. The construction of china - Thailand Railway is mainly through direct cooperation between the governments of China and Thailand, with China participating in investment and construction. The whole project was planned to be divided into two phases, of which the first phase was to connect Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, with Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeast of the country, with a total length of about 253 kilometers and a designed top speed of 250 km/h. There are 6 stations along the railway.

In March 2021, Chinese construction corporations and Thailand transportation authorities signed a construction agreement for the first phase of the China – Thailand High-Speed Railway, a new step for this project. The first phrase was initially planned to start within the year; and the second phase was to build the Nakhon Ratchasima – Nong Khai section to connect the China - Laos Railway. Nong Khai is only a river away from Vientiane, Laos On December 21st, 2017, the commencement ceremony of Phase I of China - Thailand Railway Project was held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Qinghai – Tibet train

Latest Progress

The construction of the project is progressing smoothly. Construction of the first phase of will start as planned and will be completed in 2026. The long-awaited constructing high-speed railway will make it possible to travel by train all the way from Bangkok north through Laos to Kunming, in China’s Yunnan Province. In the future, the China – Thailand High-Speed Railway is planned to connect the railway network of Southeast Asia with that of China and even the whole Eurasia, which will not only facilitate people's travel and exchanges along the line, but also facilitate the market opening and integration and the optimized combination of production factors along the line, which will drive the development of production, trade, logistics and tourism and inject new vitality into the economic development of countries along the line.

Also read Rail Lines in China.

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