Thailand's plan to link the two Bangkok's airports and U-Tapao has been delayed, according to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).
Citing budget issues for the demolition of infrastructure to clear the way for the construction, the first phase of the project will be delayed. Originally planned for January 2021, the start of the project will be shifted to February/March 2021.
“The budget to demolish infrastructure to make way for the new high-speed system has not been approved,” said SRT Governor Nirut Maneephan, “without the budget approval, then first phase of the rail construction will have to be delayed.
The USD $7.22 billion, three-airport high speed rail link will connect Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang with U-Tapao in Rayong Province located south of Bangkok. First approved by the Thai cabinet in 2018, it will cover a distance of around 220 kilometers.
Located 90 kilometers south of Bangkok, U-Tapao has been considered as an alternative airport for the capital area with both Suvaranabhumi and Don Mueang operating beyond their designed capacities.
The project is a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement between the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and consortium, led by Charoen Pokphand Holding Co. and consisting of China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC).