One of the best things about living
in the Pattaya region is not only do we live by the sea and have access to one of the most robust and value for money real estate markets in the region, but we also get to take advantage of the region’s world-class infrastructure and a wide choice of international features such as hospitals and schools. One of the most exciting infrastructure projects is the proposed Bullet Train link from Bangkok to Pattaya, which is, excuse the pun, right on track.
Bidding wars will begin early in 2017 for the contract to construct the rail link, which will give Thailand 4 hi-speed trains, penned in for completion by 2019, although some reports suggest it could be earlier. Although the Pattaya route from the capital is a certainty, plans are also in the works to extend the link to Rayong, which could take a further 2 years to complete.
The transport director general, Chula Sukmanpop, recently said that a host of suppliers will be presenting their technologies to the Thai government sometime this year, with companies from Japan, China and also Europe willing to stake their claim to supply the trains. China already has integrated similar bullet trains in their nations, so they are frontrunners at the moment to claim the contact.
The budget will also be used to link Bangkok with Phitsanulok in the North-East, Nakhon Ratchasima, Hua Hin and Pattaya by the end of this decade. Although no final decision has been made on which route will be launched first and the exact locations, the bullet train will happen.
There are a few questions from railway experts because of the time-scale given and the enormous money involved in the project and lack of profits rail links such as these generate. An official from the State Railway of Thailand recently stated, “No bullet train in the world runs at a profit with just fare-paying passengers. There will need to be a big switch from road to rail as regards freight, and we have no idea yet of the cost implications.” He also noted that high-speed trains are not immune to flooding issues, which can cause railway links to close down from time to time.
Recently, Pattaya City Hall said that the proposed railway link is a very important for the city, as they are trying to turn Pattaya into a 5-star resort destination, which we can all agree with. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything comes to fruition and that we can enjoy the fruits of this exciting new project.