The Government of Thailand, under a proposal by the Ministry of Transport (MoT), has established a working panel to better cooperate with Laos’ transport authorities for the development of the Thai-Laos railway project. The Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has been appointed as the chief of the panel to coordinate with the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Industry, Finance and Transport. The panel will be tasted with providing data integration on procurement and cross-border travel for the railway project.

The rail project is part of a high-speed railway (HSR) project connecting Thailand’s rail system with the Laos-China Railway, which runs between Kunming in China’s Yunnan region and Vientiane in Laos. The project is divided into three parts in Thailand including the 253 km Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima section, and the 16 km Nong Khai-Vientiane section and the 356 km Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai section.

The first phase comprises 14 contracts, three of which are yet to commence due to alignment issues. The roadmap for the first phase is expected to be completed by 2026, while the second phase is expected to be completed by 2029.