Thailand ‘Bites’ The BulletTrain

Bullet trains are being constructed in Thailand potentially making it the railway hub of ASEAN.

“The HSR line will link Bangkok’s two airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, to Pattaya and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The HSR could in effect, transform Thailand into a regional logistics and business hub within Southeast Asia.

-Pierre Leung, MD, Fresh Property”

By 2023, Thailand would have bullet trains running across the country at up to 250kph. While one line is currently under construction, the others are still being considered although it’s a matter of time before they are approved.

Employing Chinese HighSpeed Rail technology, these rail projects are considered part of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Commenting on the project, Pierre Leung, MD of Bangkok-based Fresh Property says the HSR is a mega-project that has important geo-political and economic implications for Thailand.

“Greater connectivity will of course provide greater convenience and improve Thailand’s regional competitiveness. A “Japan-like” network of bullet trains, would be a positive advantage for both travelers and businesses,” he told Asian Property Review.

“HSR could in effect, transform Thailand into a regional logistics and business hub within Southeast Asia,” he adds.

Connecting 3 Airports

The proposed HSR line will link Bangkok’s two airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, to Pattaya and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). It will operate in addition to the existing Airport Rail Link, an elevated train that connects Suvarnabhumi to Bangkok’s metro system.

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The proposed line, beginning from Don Mueang then passing through Bang Sue, will also stop at Makkasan in central Bangkok before proceeding to Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Sriracha and Pattaya, a major tourist destination located 120 km south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand.

Expected to begin service in 2024, the USD7.4 bil line will terminate at U-Tapao Airport, outside of Pattaya.

The HSR is expected to reduce travel time between Bangkok’s two airports to just 20 minutes, while sending tourists to Pattaya in less than an hour.

“The HSR will have a positive impact on Pattaya’s real estate market; possibly even positioning Pattaya as a “residential extension” of the capital. However, I still believe Bangkok will remain the dominant real estate market in Thailand,” Leung stresses.

Bangsue Boom

At the same time, a new rail hub is expected to open in 2021 to replace Bangkok’s 103-year-old Hualamphong Station. Set in the city’s Bang Sue district, it will serve passengers using both HSR and the country’s existing railway network, which is being upgraded from single to dual track.

“The biggest recipient of the ‘HSR Boom’ has without a doubt been the Bangsue neighborhood. Developers are currently flocking to the area to try and capitalize on the ‘Bangsue Grand Station Project’,” Leung reveals.

Pierre Leung

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