SRT ready to send 1 donated Japanese train off on short trips from Oct
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will put one of the 17 trains donated by Japan on the track for special short trips from October onwards.
SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said the four-bogey train may be used for trips from Bangkok to places like Sai Yok Falls in Kanchanaburi, Hua Hin or the Pasak Dam in Lopburi.
“SRT hopes the KIHA 183 trains will play a big part in promoting tourism in Thailand,” he said. “They will offer tourists a brand new experience.”
He added that SRT has renovated 13 of the 17 KIHA 183 trains donated by the Hokkaido Railway Company.
Of the 17 air-conditioned diesel locomotives, eight can seat 40 passengers, eight can seat 68 passengers and one carriage has 52 seats. The trains arrived in Thailand on December 13.
Nirut said SRT spent 42.5 million baht bringing the trains to Thailand and will spend about 200,000 baht each on renovation. However, he said renovating a used train is 400-times cheaper than buying a new one, which can up to 100 million baht.
He added that SRT has successfully conducted test runs with the train on the Makkasan-Chachoengsao route and learned it can comfortably achieve a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour.
He said 13 trains should be ready for short trips this year, adding that he is confident the locomotives will be in service for another 15 to 20 years.
In the second phase, the SRT will completely overhaul the trains by changing wheels, bearings, engines, electrical systems, brakes and air-conditioning so they can be used for long-haul services, Nirut said. The overhaul may take two years to complete, he added.