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Thailand has agreed to increase the budget of a high-speed rail project that will connect the capital city of Bangkok with the northern province of Nong Khai.

The budget was increased by THB12bn (nearly $380m) for the first phase of the project, following the approval of Thailand cabinet.

The Thailand Government has committed to providing the additional amount under the ‘Contract 2.3’, Bangkok Post reported quoting government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul.

It will be used to acquire trains, construct rail tracks and infrastructure maintenance among others.

Taisaranakul was quoted by the publication as saying: “The additional budget will help with modernising the system and service and will reduce maintenance costs in the long run.”

Around THB2.5bn will be invested to purchase the latest generation of Fuxing Hao trains, which operate in China.

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The government will invest THB2bn to upgrade the rail track into a ballastless track with higher endurance and to reduce maintenance requirements.

Around THB7bn will be utilised for infrastructure maintenance, building electronic multiple-unit (EMU) facility and other works.

The high-speed rail line is being developed by Chinese contractors. The first phase of the project involves building a 253km stretch from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.

Construction works for the whole project commenced in 2018 and is slated for 2023 completion.

Last month, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) said that the high-speed rail project, which will connect three airports in the country, will be delayed.

The delay was attributed to budget constraints.