After months of talks, a proposed rail link between three airports in Bangkok and U-Tapao in Thailand has received the go-ahead from the Thai government.
The project - worth around USD $7.4 billion - will connect both of Bangkok's main airports Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi with U-Tapao airport using high speed rail. It will be constructed by a consortium led by conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group and including China Railway Construction Corporation.
After a public dispute between the government agencies involved in the use of land distribution and the CP Group led consortium, a deadline was set for October 24 for signing the agreement for the project.
Construction is expected to begin within the next two years, with the Thai government expected to fund around 65% of the project. It is scheduled for completion around 2023.
With Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang reaching capacity limits years ago, the Thai government has made efforts to open U-Tapao Airport - located 140 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Bangkok - as a third airport for the area. The airport primarily serves as the main entry for tourists heading to the popular destination of Pattaya, located between U-Tapao and Bangkok.
The new high speed rail is expected to lower the travel time between Bangkok and U-Tapao from the current 2 hour road trip to an hour on rail.