Thailand’s Transport Ministry will propose a $44.14bn (THB1.47tr) railway improvement plan to economic ministers shortly, the country’s transport minister has said.

The plan is to upgrade the State Railway of Thailand and its services to meet international standards.

Under the plan, THB46bn will be invested in the first stage from 2010 to 2014 to renew the train fleet and improve railway and signalling systems nationwide.

The second stage involves a THB392bn investment to expand its network coverage by 2,651km and another THB323bn to convert the existing single-track lines to dual-track.

The final stage involves a THB708bn investment by the private sector into high-speed trains.