The Thai Government has committed to invest more than $21bn into the country’s railway network to improve connectivity and reduce pollution.

According to a Bloomberg report, the investment will be utilised to expand Bangkok’s rail transit system and build high-speed railways.

The plan also includes a $1.3bn transit hub in the city to enable connectivity to China and Singapore, as well as to other locations in Thailand. The railway station is scheduled to open next year.

With these investments, the government seeks to reduce traffic congestion and pollution levels in Bangkok.

The move will also help in rehabilitating Thailand’s dated railway system and support the economy.

Overall, the country has reserved $33bn as its infrastructure budget over the next three years. The majority of the amount will be invested in rail projects.

State Railway of Thailand acting governor Voravuth Mala told Bloomberg: “The global economy is quite weak and the interest rates are quite low. This is the best time to invest in infrastructure.

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“If people can travel quickly and conveniently, the economy will be good. That’s the idea we build upon.”

Development projects include track doubling works to improve freight and passenger transportation capacity of the network, as well as increasing the overall network length.

A railway link to Laos is also being built, as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The state railway also plans to gradually replace diesel locomotives with electric trains after the Bangkok station opens next year.

Notably, Thailand signed a $7.4bn agreement in October last year to connect three major airports with a high-speed rail network.