By The Nation
Acting SRT governor Worawut Mala said that these train projects will support travel and transportation among major cities in the East. The four projects include a double-track rail from Sriracha, Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Chanthaburi to Trat; a double-track rail from Khlong 19 to Aranyaprathet; a double-track rail connecting three ports – Laem Chabang, Sattahip and Map Ta Phut – and a double-track rail connecting with Dawei deep sea port.
“The SRT’s target is to develop train projects nationwide, particularly in major cities. There’s only a single-track rail between Sriracha and Map Ta Phut in the East. These will be the first double-track rail lines. We’ve received a budget to study for design and we expect to reach finalisation and open for bids by next year,” Worawut said.
The next project for extension, connecting Map Ta Phut with Rayong, is also under study. The double-track rail for the Sriracha-Map Ta Phut to Rayong-Chantaburi-Trat section, covering 230 kilometres, is expected to commence service in 2025.
The 170-kilometre double-track Khlong 19-Aranyaprathet rail project will likely be proposed for study and design in 2020 and service is expected to commence in 2027.
Design study on the planned 200-kilometre double-track rail project, which will link three ports – Laem Chabang, Sattahip and Map Ta Phut – is expected to start soon, with the route open for service in 2024. A double-track rail project connecting to Dawei deep sea port in Myanmar will be proposed for study in 2020 with service commencing in 2027.
Worawut said the double-track rail development projects would connect major cities for travel and transportation and link with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), enabling the transport of goods to major economic cities and ports for overseas shipments.
According to a source, SRT currently has a double-track rail project in the Chachoengsao-Klong 19-Kaeng Koi 200km section under construction, which is 87 per cent complete. A high-speed train project connecting three airports – Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao – is expected to see a private-sector player emerging as winner under a public-private partnership scheme to be proposed to the Cabinet in mid-January 2019. The high-speed train extension on the 200km Rayong-Chanthaburi-Trat route is estimated to start service in 2025.
The 70-kilometre Sriracha-Map Ta Phut rail project is expected to require a budget of about Bt8 billion to upgrade the single track to double track, while the Rayong-Chanthaburi-Trat section will be a new route. The Klong 19-Aranyaprathet section will upgrade from single track to double track.