Japan is still interested in Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project

The Ministry of Transport has denied as untrue foreign press and social media reports that Japan has decided not to invest in the Bangkok-Phitsanuloke section of Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The ministry clarified in a statement that it was still in the process of talks with the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on the feasibility study of joint cooperation between the two countries in the development of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The talks have not yet touched on the investment aspect and Japan has not opted out of the project nor decided not to invest in the project, said the ministry in the statement, adding that the Japanese side is exploring a new form of investment which is appropriate and will cause less financial burden on the Thai government.

Regarding the speed of the high-speed train project in Thailand, the ministry said that although the standard speed of the Japanese train, Shinkansen, is 300 kph, both sides concurred that the lowering of the speed of the train project in Thailand would not make any difference about the investment cost nor the number of stations.

The feasibility study will attach importance to cost saving, particularly life cycle cost, said the ministry in the statement.
The ministry is determined to develop high-speed train project in a way which ensure the optimum benefits toward social and economic development and the distribution of prosperity to the rural areas so that people in the countryside will have access to safe, comfortable and quick mode of travelling.