The Government of Thailand and Charoen Pokphand Holding-led consortium have signed a THB224.5bn ($7.4bn) agreement to build a high-speed rail network to connect three major airports.

The 220km-long high-speed railway line will connect Suvarnabhumi Airport with Don Mueang International Airport and U-Tapao International Airport.

This project is one of the major infrastructure projects to be developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) investment zone. The project will be adopted by State Railway of Thailand (SRT) through public-private-partnership.

The government will provide 60% of the total funds for the project.

The rail route will consist of 181km of elevated track, 8km of underground track, and 2km of surface track.

The construction of the rail line will begin in 12 to 24 months. The trains on the route will operate at maximum speeds of 250kmph.

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The consortium will have rights to operate and manage the rail line for 50 years after which the project assets will be given to the government.

The agreement was signed by Acting State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Governor Worawut Mala and Charoen Pokphand Group CEO Supachai Chearavanont.

The Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was also present during the signing ceremony.

New China News Agency quoted Chan-o-cha as saying that the high-speed rail project is designed to be connected with the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project in the northeastern region of the country and to accommodate regional land, sea and air connectivity.

He also added that many jobs in the EEC region will be created, new cities along the railway will be built and the economy will prosper in areas around the railway stations.

China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) is also a part of the consortium that bagged the deal.