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Pattaya Daily News

22 August 2010 :: 17:08:56 pm 36181

Six Nation Rail Link Approved by Greater Mekong Sub Region

All six of the Greater Mekong Sub-region committee countries have approved plans to establish a transnational rail link to improve transportation networks between neighbouring nations on Saturday.
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Hanoi, the 21st of August 2010: Following preliminary discussions regarding a rail link stretching from Bangkok to Kunming in China, a meeting of the Greater Mekong Sub-region committee has given the green light to the further investigation of the development .

Ministers for the six countries, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, met in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi to discuss the multi-billion baht proposal that was originally proposed some 18-years ago and is aimed at significantly improving transport and trade links throughout the region.

Concluding the meeting, ministers agreed to let the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conduct a feasibility study on the transportation link, assessing the added benefit to each involved nation. Senior officials from 10 other countries also attended the meeting, agreeing unanimously to support the proposal.

Thailand’s Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Sathit Wongnongtoey, stated that Thailand was in complete support of the project which would require the investment of more than Bt4 billion.

The planned network will connect approximately 300 million people from the six nations. At present, the most viable route will see the rail line stretch from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, then on to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi before ending up in Nanning and Kunming in China. The link will use existing tracks where possible while several lines currently under construction are set to be incorporated into the project.

Preliminary expectations are that the full route will be open by 2020 with an estimated 3.2 million passengers and 23 million tonnes of freight expected on the network by 2025.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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