China – Thailand Railway
China – Thailand Railway, or Sino – Thai Railway hasn’t been opened yet. The construction began in December, 2017. About 4 years are needed to complete this high speed rail project, by when it will run through three countries including China, Laos and Thailand. It will serve trains running between Kunming and Bangkok. In the far future, this China – Thailand railway project will be extended all the way to Singapore, shaping a high speed railway as long as 1,864 miles (3,000 km), namely Kunming – Singapore Railway.
Kunming – Bangkok Trains
Scheduled Open Time: 2021
Designed Speed: 99–124 mph (160-200 km/h)
Running Length: about 790 miles (1,272 km)
Expected Duration: about 12 hours
Estimated Round-trip Ticket Price: CNY 700 or THB 3,600, equaling to half or 1/3 of the flight ticket fare
Planned Stations along the Way: Kunming South, Kunyang, Jinning East, Huacheng, Baofeng, Yuxi, Yuxi South, Yuanjiang, Mojiang, Puer, Jinghong, Mohan, Vientiane, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Bangkok
Sino – Thai Railway Sections
Kunming-Mohan: This section consists of the Kunming-Yuxi Railroad and Yuxi-Mohan Railroad. Currently, the former section has been put into service since December 15th, 2016 and the journey time is 1.5 hours. The construction of the latter section began on 29th April, 2016 and the distance is 315 miles (507 km); the designed speed is 99 mph (160 km/h) and the intermediate stations include Yuanjiang, Mojiang, Puer, and Jinghong.
Mohan (Boten)- Vientiane: This section started on 2nd December, 2015 and it will be put into service before 2020. The planned running speed is 99 mph (160 km/h) and the total journey is 265 miles (427 km).
Vientiane (Nong Khai) – Bangkok: The designed speed is 99–112 mph (160-180 km/h) for this section. The construction started in Dec. 21, 2017 and will last for 4 years. It will completely change the rail provision of Thailand and the country will have the first standard-gauge rail track. The stations along this way include Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima. In the future, this railroad will be extended to eastern Rayong Province in Thailand.
Why build the China – Thailand Railway
Thailand – China High Speed Railway Project will make traveling between the two countries cheaper, easier and more convenient. Thailand is one of the top outbound tourism destinations among Chinese. When the China – Thailand high speed trains are put into service, they are estimated to attract 2 million more Chinese to visit the mysterious and colorful country each year, greatly boost the develop of its tourism industry.
For China, the railroad will greatly deduct the cost for exporting agricultural products such as rice, vegetables, and fresh tropical fruit from Thailand, as the rail freight fee is only about 1/3 of air freight fee. This in return, will also boost the development of Thai’s agriculture industry.
How to travel between China and Thailand presently
At present, the most convenient way to travel between the two countries should be flights. The direct flights between Bangkok and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming are the most popular; and the air duration is 5.5 hours, 4.5 hours, 3 hours, and 2.5 hours respectively.