Thursday, October 22, 2020

SRT launches Tak-Nakhon Sawan project for East-West Economic Corridor railway

Sep 18. 2020
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By The Nation

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has hired consultants to produce a study for the Bt96.7 billion rail project to link Tak’s Mae Sot and Nakhon Sawan, with a deadline of next year.

The project is the first section in a planned East-West Economic Corridor double-track route, which will support transportation links to neighbouring Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The SRT board on Thursday approved the appointment of Tesco Co, Chulalongkorn University and Design Concept Co with a budget of Bt161 million, said SRT governor Niruj Maneepun.

The joint team has been given 360 days to conduct the study, design details, and environmental impacts assessment (EIA) for the new 256-kilometre railway linking Mae Sot, Kamphaeng Phet and Nakhon Sawan.

After that, an investment model and budget for construction will be finalised.

The SRT will requisition land to build the new route, which will support transportation from the border along the East-West Corridor to the planned Nakhon Sawan-Ban Phai and Ban Phai-Nakhon Phanom rail lines, said Niruj.

The green light for the project study marked an important starting point for east-west railway, since construction of the route from Nakhon Sawan to Ban Phai in Khon Kaen was still being studied for feasibility, he added.

The East-West railway is divided into three sections – a 250km stretch from Tak to Nakhon Sawan, 291km from Nakhon Sawan to Ban Phai, and a 355km route to Nakhon Phanom.

The SRT Board acknowledged the commercial development model for a mixed-use rail hub in Bangkok. An area of 325 rai will house an exhibition centre and SRT employee housing, with the private joint investor granted a 50-year concession to manage the site, divided into four years for construction and 46 years of management.

“The consultant estimates the net present value [NPV] of the project is Bt16.8 billion. SRT’s board has acknowledged the concept but will wait for the establishment of an asset management company before forwarding it to the Cabinet for approval," said Niruj.

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