China and Thailand are working together to sign two contracts of the first phase of Thailand-China railway project in September to begin the construction work of the first section in October, Chinese Embassy in Bangkok said in a statement Saturday.
According to the statement, the two countries concluded negotiations of the contract of design work of the first phase of Thailand-China railway project and agreed on the price in the supervision contract during the 20th meeting of Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation between Thailand and China.
"It is a new significant progress that the project made after being approved by Thai cabinet and Thailand's National Legislative Assembly," the statement said.
It also mentioned that both sides had been required to accelerate their work to make it possible for the two sides to sign the two contracts in September and to begin the construction work of the first section in October.
The construction of first phase, or the 253 km railway from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, will start gradually from the first 3.5 km section, the second 11 km section, the third 119 km section and finally the fourth 119 km section.
The railway project will also be further extended from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai on Thai-Lao border, which is called the second phase.
"The preparation work for the second phase of the project will start soon," the embassy said.
China and Thailand have held meetings of Joint Committee on Railway Cooperation for 20 times over the past two years, the statement said both sides have overcome many difficulties and solved many problems.
Chinese side will be responsible for the design work and supervision, which will incorporate many Thai engineers and architects while the Thais will be responsible for construction work. The project will also use Thai equipments and materials as much as possible.
Once finished, the project will be the first standard gauge high speed railway of the Thailand and the railway, according to the statement, "will improve Thailand's transport system, enforce its role as the transport hub in the region, boost economic growth in the country, especially its northeastern part, contribute to the Eastern Economic Corridor project and benefit other countries along the railway."