SRT aims to open over 3,000km of dual track railway by 2029

FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2023

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has set a target to open more than 3,000 kilometres of dual track railway for service by 2029.

This expansion aims to run trains at twice the current capacity. Additionally, the SRT plans to launch three additional projects this September.

Ekarach Sriarayanponse, the head of the SRT Governor's Office, said construction of the dual track railway has made steady progress.

The SRT has signed contracts for the construction of seven dual track railway lines and two new railway lines as part of Thailand's transportation infrastructure development plan for 2015-2022.

Currently, two projects have been completed and three are nearing completion. The completed projects are: the Chachoengsao-Chonburi-Klaeng section and the Jira-Khon Kaen section. Meanwhile, the projects nearing completion are:

1. Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin section, with two contracts: Nakhon Pathom-Nong Pla Lai (93km, 97.1% completed) and Nong Pla Lai-Hua Hin (76km, 97.5% completed).

2. Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan section (84km, 99.9% completed).

3. Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon section, with two contracts: Prachuap Khiri Khan-Bang Saphan Noi (88km, 93.5% completed) and Bang Saphan Noi-Chumphon (79km, 96.5% completed), along with the southern signal system contract (420 km, 48.1% completed).

The three near-completion projects are expected to start operating gradually from September, starting from Nakhon Pathom station to Saphli Station in Chumphon province, covering approximately 400km. The SRT aims to have the entire system fully operational by 2025, in parallel with the installation of the signal and telecommunications systems.

Ekarach stated that the SRT currently has two projects under construction:

1. Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho section, with two contracts: Ban Klap-Kok Kathiam (32km, 86.6% completed) and Tha Kha-Pak Nam Pho (116km, 78.4% completed), along with the northern signal system (148km, 32.1% completed).

2.Mab Kabao-Jira Road section, with three contracts: Mab Kabao-Klong Khanan Chit (58km, 96.2% completed), Klong Khanan Chit-Jira Road 1 (69km, not yet signed), and railway bridge (5km, 98.1% completed), along with the northeastern signal system (132km, 21.5% completed).

With the completion of the second-phase projects, the SRT's dual track railway network will cover over 50 provinces in Thailand, spanning more than 3,000km by the year 2029. This will double the capacity to handle trains, reduce travel time by 1 to 1.5 hours, and facilitate efficient transportation of goods and passengers. Moreover, it will promote the shift from road to rail transportation due to its lower cost and foster better connectivity with neighbouring countries, Ekarach said.

The SRT is also preparing to propose seven additional projects for the second phase of the dual track railway, including the Pak Nam Pho-Den Chai section, the Khon Kaen-Nong Khai section, the Jira Road-Ubon Ratchathani section, the Chumphon-Surat Thani section, the Surat Thani-Hat Yai Junction section, the Hat Yai Junction-Padang Besar section, and the Mab Kabao-Chumpon Railway section.

The SRT is also in the process of developing the second phase of the dual track railway, which includes seven additional projects:

the Pak Nam Pho-Den Chai section; the Khon Kaen-Nong Khai section; the Jira Road-Ubon Ratchathani section; the Chumphon-Surat Thani section; the Surat Thani-Hat Yai Junction section; the Hat Yai Junction-Padang Besar section; and the Mab Kabao-Chumpon Railway section. These projects are currently in the preparatory stages before seeking approval. Additionally, an environmental impact assessment is being conducted for the Chiang Mai section of the dual track railway, Ekarach said.

Once the second phase of the work is completed, the SRT's dual track railway network will cover more than 50 provinces across the country, spanning over 3,000km by 2029. This expansion will double the capacity to run trains, reduce travel time from 29 km/h to 60 km/h for freight transport and from 50 km/h to 100-120 km/h for passenger transport, Ekarach added.