Cabinet approves Thai-Chinese high-speed train project

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposed construction of the first section of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project with budget of 179 billion baht and a Defence Ministry proposal for the air force to buy an additional eight supersonic T-50 jet trainers worth 7.9 billion baht from South Korea.

Kobsak Futrakul, a vice minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, said the cabinet gave an proposal for the State Railway of Thailand to build the first section of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima with a budget of 179 billion baht.

The construction, to begin in September, is scheduled to be completed in four years, he said.

The cabinet also approved a Defence Ministry proposal for the air force to by an additional eight supersonic T-50 jet trainers worth 7.9 billion baht from South Korea. The new jet trainers will replace L-39 trainer aircraft which have been in service for nearly 30 years and will be decommissioned.

Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, the deputy prime minister and defence minister, reiterated to the cabinet the necessity for the air force to acquire the new aircraft.

He said the purchase will be on a government-to-government basis.