The government is aiming to complete the country's first high-speed train between Bangkok and Pattaya by 2018.
Three other lines linking the capital with Phitsanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima and Hua Hin are also scheduled to be completed the following year. The planned four high-speed rail routes are part of infrastructure projects under the 2-trillion-baht
borrowing plan to be tabled before the cabinet for its approval next Tuesday.
Chula Sookmanob, director of the Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning Office, said the government expected to invite bids for the four high-speed trains in September. Bidders will be required to specify their technology for the train in the
bidding contest to enable the government to project the construction cost. Interest is expected from Japan, China, South Korea, France, Germany and Spain.
The projects could reduce Thailand's fuel costs by at least 100 billion baht a year and cut travelling time between Bangkok and the provinces within a 300km radius to 90 minutes from three hours.