Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA) announced on April 28 that it held a briefing session for the preliminary feasibility investigation on the east-west railway in the north region of Thailand at the Thailand’s railroad administration building on April 26.
The session was held after Thailand’s deputy prime minister for economic affairs, who visited South Korea in March, asked to carry out the feasibility study of the country’s east-west railway that connects the economic development zones in northern Thailand, such as Maesot and Mukdahan.
During the meeting, the KRNA proposed an 800km-long route connecting Maesot, Tak, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen and Mukdahan. The route passes two economic development zones – Maesot and Mukdahan – and three airports – Maesot, Phitsanulok and Khon Kaen. It also bypasses an ancient ruin site and national park in Sukhothai. The project is worth 10 trillion won (US$8.8 billion).
The KRNA held a seminar at Thailand’s parliament on April 27 to introduce South Korea’s railroad policy, current railroad industry conditions and KTX.
South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thailand in 2013 for the partnership in the railway sector and the two have had a regular cooperation in the sector. The KRNA will open a railway school in Thailand in September this year and instruct its railroad technologies to officials in the Thai government’s railway department and industry.
Kim Do-won, head of the overseas business division at the KRNA, said, “This is the best opportunity for us to push into the Thai railway market with the Thai government’s large investment in the sector. The KRNA and domestic companies will participate in various sectors in the Thai railway projects, such as design, construction inspection, consultant, civil engineering and vehicle, and create more jobs overseas.”