Nong Khai eyed as transport hub for China-Laos high-speed railway
The Department of Rail Transport (DRT), in conjunction with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), is getting ready to turn Nong Khai province into a logistics hub for the China-Laos high-speed railway.
DRT’s deputy director Pichet Kunathammarak said the province is geographically well placed to serve as a shipping hub and container storage area for Thailand, Laos and China.
SRT is also eyeing the Na Tha station in Muang district to serve the purpose and is seeking funds to study and analyse options for a public-private partnership.
DRT, meanwhile, is looking to adjust regulations and solve problems related to logistics, overall cost and the efficient use of train and road transportation.
The department is also looking into using the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge for goods that need to be transported in a hurry.
DRT has also earmarked 80 rai of land to use as customs clearance and transfer area.
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The China-Laos railway went into operation on December 3, and should serve as an important connector between Thailand, China and Laos.
However, the route is not running to its full capacity yet due to Covid-19 restrictions.
As of December 2020, 116,552 tonnes of goods worth approximately 4.64 billion baht crossed the Nong Khai border. However, after the China-Laos railway opened, the number of goods transported nearly doubled to 304,119 tonnes worth 6.91 billion baht in December alone.