Approval for two new rail routes, the Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong in the upper North and the Ban Phai-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom in the upper Northeast, will be requested from the Thai government, with the project totaling USD 4.8 billion. The first will branch out from the main northern line in Phrae while the latter breaks from the upper northern line in Khon Kaen.
The Den Chai route will cover 326 kilometers and will have an estimated cost of USD 2.7 billion to build and the Ban Phai route covers 355 kilometers and comes with an estimated cost of USD 2.1 billion. According to the Transport Minister the two projects will be sent for cabinet approval during the month of August and when approval will be received a royal decree will also be issued to expropriate the land where the routes will cut through, thus marking the start of the projects.
(Sources: Bangkokpost; Thailand-Construction)