Work on the first phase of the Bangkok–Nong Khai high speed railway (HSR) between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand is behind schedule. As of the end of October 2022, construction on phase one has only been 15 per cent completed, missing its 37 per cent completion target for the date.
According to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of Thailand, most of this delay was due to the Covid-19 related movement restrictions, delays in the land expropriation process, and the relocation of public utility lines from the construction site.
In October 2020, a THB50.6 billion contract was awarded to China Railway International and China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC), covering the railway system, rolling stocks, staff training and technology transfer for phase 1 of the HSR. The contract has a deadline of March 2026 and in light of the delays, will have to be extended.
Works on the 253-km-long section between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima was initially expected to be completed in 2026, with the 356 km long section between Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai expected to be operational by 2029-30. Phase 1 is now expected to open to passenger traffic in 2027.