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China to Build High-speed Rail Linking Thailand, Laos

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China has signed agreements with Thailand and Laos to build high-speed railways connecting the two Southeast Asian countries.


Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2009 shows a CRH (China Railway High-Speed) train coded D5558 from Wenzhou to Shanghai crossing over the Fenghua River Bridge on the Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou High Speed Railway, which began operation as of the day with a design speed of up to 250km per hour, in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province. [Xinhua] 

The Beijing Times reports that officials from Thailand and Laos made the disclosure on Tuesday in Beijing.

During the seventh World Congress on High Speed Rail, Thailand's deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, said China is cooperating on high-speed railways with the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), including Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and Malaysia. Suthep says that Thailand's parliament has approved the project and the two countries have signed the framework agreement.

Somsavat Lengsavad, Laos deputy prime minister, told the Congress that based on the agreement with China the high-speed railway linking the Lao capital Vientiane with Beijing will begin construction in 2011 and be completed in 2015.

Both Suthep and Somsavat hoped the high-speed railways will be built as soon as possible to boost the two nations' economic ties with China.

China is operating a high-speed rail network with a combined length of 7,531 kilometers, the world's longest. By 2012 this figure will almost double to 13,000 km.

China's CRH-380A train Friday set a speed record for unmodified commercial use at 486.1 km per hour on a test run on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway. Next year, China aims to break the 574.8-km-per-hour speed record set by France's TGV train in April 2007, an un-named source with CSR Corporation Limited (CSR) said on Tuesday at the Congress.

Launched in 1992 by the International Unions of Railways (UIC), the Congress exhibits the world's high-speed railway development. It is the first time the Congress has been held outside Europe.

( December 8, 2010)

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