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  • Trains! Glorious Trains!

    Bangkok Looks to Clear Polluted Skies With Massive Rail Project

    By Randy Thanthong-Knight and Suttinee Yuvejwattana
    March 1, 2020, 4:00 AM GMT+7

    • Thai government spending more than $21 billion to expand rail
    • Plan to ease pollution, congestion amid environmental concern
    Bank of Ayudhya PclGrowth Engine
    New Routes
    Manoj Lohatepanont, director of Chulalongkorn University Transportation Institutepower plan to reduce shares of electricity produced from fossil fuels and increase more shares form renewable sources.

    A few local companies have been investing in electric cars and ferries to reduce pollution and fossil fuel use, and some have been testing autonomous vehicles to connect homes to nearby transit stations.
    Last edited by harrymsmarkle; 03-01-2020, 07:09 AM.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  • #2
    Originally posted by harrymsmarkle View Post
    • Thai government spending more than $21 billion to expand rail
    wonderful news

    I'm not sure how far 21 billion will take them, but it's a start
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #3
      B50bn contract to be signed for part of high-speed railway first stage

      The government will sign 'Contract 2.3', worth more than 50 billion baht, for work on the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima on Wednesday.

      The contract will have three parties - the State Railway of Thailand, China Railway International Co and China Railway Design Corporation, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Tuesday.

      Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over the signing of Contract 2.3 of the Bangkok-Nong Khai high-speed train project, which is for part of the first stage from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, Ms Traisuree said.

      Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and executives of the Chinese government will witness the signing at Government House, she said.

      Contract 2.3 is for 50.63 billion baht and covers the purchase of tracks, electrical and signaling and communication systems, procurement of train carriages, personnel training, the operation and maintenance works and the transfer of technology.

      The project’s first phase, a 253-kilometre track from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, will have six stations - Bangkok (Bang Sue), Don Muang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima, the spokeswoman said.

      There are a total of 14 contracts involved in the 179-billion-baht, 253-kilometre rail route from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, the gateway to the Northeast.

      ½ way:

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #4
        Bangkok-Nong Khai high-speed rail contract inked with China

        Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has hailed the development of the Thai-Sino high-speed rail project as key to strengthening the country's competitiveness.

        The premier on Wednesday presided over the signing of “Contract 2.3” between the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), China Railway International and China Railway Design Corp at Government House.

        The Bt50.63-billion contract is for Phase 1 of the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway, which will run from Bangkok to Nong Khai. The contract covers construction of the track and electrical, signalling and communication systems, procurement of trains, maintenance and technology transfer.

        Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that Phase 1 comprises a 253-kilometre stretch of track with six stations – Bang Sue, Don Muang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima.

        The Thai side is entirely responsible for investment on this phase and the civil works, while the Chinese side will oversee the design and installation of track, electrical systems, train operation system, train procurement and personal training.

        The Thai side is currently drafting the design of Phase 2 – a 354.5km track from Nong Khai to Nakhon Ratchasima.

        Saksayam said the ministry will ask the Cabinet to approve the launch of an institute to conduct research and development of track system technology, aiming to increase the number of experts in the field.

        This would help boost use of local materials, add about Bt21 billion in value to the Thai rail industry, and create jobs worth about Bt6 billion annually, he said.:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • #5
          Thai train tickets can now be bought online

          The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) launched an online ticketing and reservation service called the D-Ticket System on Wednesday.

          Now, passengers wishing to travel on December 18, can make reservations or purchase train tickets using the D-Ticket system via

          Tickets can only be booked 30 days in advance.

          Under the new D-Ticket system, passengers can check their seats on the train, manually print out tickets or save their ticket on the phone and scan the QR code on the train. Payments can be made using credit or debit cards as well as the state welfare card.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #6
            SRT signs 5 contracts for high-speed railway from Bangkok to Korat

            The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on Thursday signed five contracts worth a total Bt40 billion for the high-speed rail project to link Thailand and China.

            The contracts are for construction of the first phase of the railway, from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima. The line will eventually stretch to Nong Khai and link with another railway constructed from China to Laos, as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

            The contracts were signed at the Transport Ministry by SRT governor Nirut Maneephan and contractors Nawarat Patanakarn, Thai Engineer Industry, Italian-Thai Development, SPTK Joint Venture, and Civil Engineering.

            The five contracts cover 101.15 kilometres of the railway, with total investment budget of around Bt40.275 billion.

            First-phase construction features a total of 14 contracts. Construction work under the first contract has been completed, while work under the second is ongoing. The land for construction sites will be delivered to the five new contractors by the beginning of 2021.

            The remaining seven contracts will be signed over the next year, the SRT governor added.: -
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #7
              BTSC justifies its decision to make maximum fare on Green Line most expensive

              The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) insists that the Bt65 maximum fare on the BTS Green Line is reasonable, while the Transport Ministry is ready to explain the fare calculation at a meeting with the prime minister and Interior Ministry.

              Surapong Laoha-Unya, BTSC chief operating officer, said it had discussed this fare with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) when the concession for the BTS Green Line was being mulled.

              He said the maximum fare includes the cost of civil work, electric train management and revenue that BTSC has to share with BMA annually.

              “The maximum fare for the Green Line cannot match that of other lines because of the difference in costs,” he said.

              Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob said the ministry was waiting for an answer from the BMA and Interior Ministry on the fare’s implementation and if there may be any legal disputes.

              "I believe we still have a lot of time to consider this issue thoroughly because the concession will expire in 2029,” he said, adding that this issue will not affect commuters.

              Saksiam went on to say that his ministry has already prepared information regarding fare calculation, and that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will discuss this issue with the Interior and Transport ministries soon.

              "The ministry has gathered information from the Department of Rail Transport and Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand [MRTA], who was granted the concession for the MRT Blue Line, and found that the fare calculation was based on Consumer Price Index [CPI]," he added.

              The Transport Ministry said it has checked BTSC and BMA's fare calculations and found that they were based on the Commerce Ministry’s CPI, which includes the food and beverage category.

              "If the BTSC and BMA did not include the food and beverage category in their calculation, the maximum fare for the Green Line would drop by 20 per cent,” the ministry said, adding that the MRTA did not include this category in its calculation.

              A source from BTS operator said the private sector can cut the fare to ease commuters’ burden provided they receive support from the government.

              "Once the BTS Green Line is extended, BTSC will have to bear about Bt100 billion in civil work costs and share about Bt300 billion in revenue with the BMA, so this line costs a lot more than other lines, where the operators only had to bear concession fees,” the source said.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #8
                Prayut says fares may be reduced on Green Line

                Negotiations are under way to lower the fare on the Green Line, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

                Gen Prayut made the remark as he presided over a ceremony for the Green Line electric train route. He also unveiled the Gold Line driverless monorail.

                It is predicted that international travel demand will revive significantly in the last quarter of 2021 and Airports of Thailand (AOT), which manages six airports including Suvarnabhumi, says it will have business and marketing plans in place to deal with it.

                The fare to be charged on the Green Line extension has been criticised as being too expensive. The fare will be capped at 65 baht per trip compared with 42 baht for the Blue Line, according to the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC).

                The BMA has hired BTSC under a contract to operate the southern Green Line section, Bearing-Samrong; the northern stretch, Mo Chit-Wat Phra Sri Mahathat; the Silom Line's Saphan Taksin-Wongwian Yai-Bang Wa; and the Green Line's On Nut-Bearing routes.

                On Wednesday, Gen Prayut said talks were ongoing to reduce the Green Line fare. However, he would wait to see the outcome of the negotiations.

                He insisted the issue should not be politicised. The government would step in to solve the problem but the rules must be respected.

                At the opening of the Gold Line from Krung Thon Buri to Khlong San, Gen Prayut said the Gold Line service was highly anticipated. He pointed out, however, that a bottleneck on the route needs to be dealt with.

                An additional station may have to be constructed or dual tracks laid on the entire route, the premier said.

                Also on Wednesday, Gen Prayut inau- gurated the extended Green Line which runs from Wat Phra Sri Mahathat to Khu Khot. There are free rides for the public until Jan 1.

                The PM said the Green Line was expected to seamlessly connect the greater Bangkok, Pathum Thani and the Thon Buri side of the city.

                Commuters disembark from a Green Line extension train at the Khu Khot station. Free rides are being offered to the public from now until Jan 1 when commercial service will begin.  (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

                The premier said infrastructure and electric train development was the government's transport priority and he hoped the trains would encourage people to use cars less frequently and help reduce the PM2.5 dust pollution in Bangkok.

                Many electric train lines have been completed during his administration, Gen Prayut said.

                The Gold Line connects with the Green Line at Krung Thon Buri station and runs on to Charoen Nakhon and Khlong San stations.

                Gen Prayut and government officials took the Green Line train from Khu Khot to Krung Thon Buri station and the Gold Line train from Khlong San to Charoen Nakhon station.

                The extended Green Line consists of seven stations including Phahon Yothin, Sai Yud, Saphan Mai, Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, Royal Thai Air Force Museum, Yaek Kor Por Tor, and Khu Khot.

                The Green Line will be officially open for commercial services on Jan 1 at 1pm.

                When fully operational, the ridership on the Green Line is expected to top 252,000 per day, increasing from 132,200 passengers per day at present. There are major hospitals, academic institutions and government offices along the line which boasts easy access to Pathum Thani province and the densely populated Lam Luk Ka area.

                Car parks at Yaek Kor Por Or and Khu Khot stations can serve 1,755 cars.

                The 1.8-km Gold Line passes the riverside Iconsiam shopping complex. In the future, the Gold Line will connect to the Tao Poon-Ratburana Purple Line at the Prachathipok station and to the Hua Lamphong-Mahachai Red Line at the Khlong San station.

                The Gold Line will charge a 15 baht flat fare.:

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #9
                  Transport Ministry expands budget for SRT’s Dark Red suburban railway line

                  The Transport Ministry is planning to double the investment for the new Dark Red Railway Line and extend it to also cover Ayutthaya, a source from the ministry revealed.

                  The new Dark Red Line will run from Bang Sue to Rangsit in Pathum Thani in the first phase before being extended to cover Ayutthaya. The project is expected to cost Bt42.61 billion in total.

                  The Dark Red Line, part of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT)’s suburban railway extension, will initially cover 8.48 kilometres from Bang Sue to terminate at the Thammasat Rangsit campus. This will cost about Bt6.57 billion and is currently being analysed based on the 2019 Joint State-Private Investment Act.

                  SRT expects to procure private investment by the end of 2022, before it starts construction with the aim of opening for service by 2025.

                  “In the first year, the railway is expected to service some 28,150 commuters per day, and this will increase once the line is extended from Thammasat’s Rangsit campus to Phachi terminal in Ayutthaya. There will be four stations on this line, namely Khlong Nueng, Bangkok University, Chiang Rak and Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus,” the source said.

                  The Dark Red Line will be further extended to cover two routes, Ayutthaya-Phachi and Thammasat Rangsit-Ayutthaya.

                  The Ayutthaya-Phachi route will cover 19.7km and require an investment of Bt13.07 billion. The environmental impact of this route is currently being assessed. This route will cover four stations, namely Ban Ma, Mab Phrachan, Phra Kaew and Phachi. It is expected to be open for service in October 2034.

                  The Thammasat Rangsit-Ayutthaya route will cover 31.2km and require about Bt22.97 billion. This route is expected to open in October 2030.:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #10
                    I hope the rolling stock is of a better quality than some of the later trains purchased from China. They look more like 60s style false paneling and the sound insulation is poor and thats the first class sleepers.


                    • #11
                      Thailand to complete “largest rail station in Southeast Asia” next year

                      Thailand will next year complete the biggest rail station in Southeast Asia as part of its plans to upgrade the country’s public transport system and improve its international communications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

                      The Bang Sue Grand Station is intended to is relieve Bangkok’s chronic traffic congestion and support the country’s role as a regional transport hub. It will replace Hua Lamphong, the capital’s main station at present.

                      Besides intercity trains, Bang Sue will also serve Bangkok’s metro, commuter and high-speed trains, and provide fast connections with Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and U-Tapao international airports.

                      According to the ministry, the 220km route between Don Mueang, in the northern outskirts of Bangkok, and U-Tapao in Rayong province could be travelled in less than an hour.

                      Sino-Thai Engineering Construction began work on the structure of the station in 2013 and this has now been completed; work on its interior will be completed in time for the services to begin in 2021.

                      When complete, the 520ha station will be the largest in Southeast Asia. It will be four storeys high, with 12 platforms up to 600m long and 24 tracks. This will allow it to accommodate up to 40 trains at the same time, with a daily passenger capacity of 600,000, more than 10 times that of Hua Lamphong.

                      At least 30% of its area will be devoted to green spaces and it will be pollution-free since it will serve only electric trains.

                      Bang Sue Grand Station will be a stop for Thailand’s first high-speed train project, which will run between Bangkok to Nong Khai. The first phase, covering the 251km from Bangkok north to Nakhon Ratchasima, is under construction. The rest of the route linking Nakhon Ratchasima with Nong Khai will cover a distance of 356km.

                      Once completed, this project will enable travellers from Bangkok to reach the Laotian border in three hours, rather than 11 at present.

                      The ministry adds that this line will be extended to link with the rail line being built through Laos as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

                      Another important high-speed link will be with U-Tapao airport, which is being expanded to serve the Eastern Economic Corridor.

                      The Thai government also hopes to promote Bang Sue as a catalyst for developing a new central business district around the station.: https://www.globalconstructionreview...n-southeast-a/

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • #12
                        2 new rail projects on track

                        The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will open bidding for two dual-track railway projects next month.

                        SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said on Wednesday both routes will cost 120 billion baht to build and enhance fast and modern railway systems to the North and northeastern regions of the country.

                        He said the SRT expects to announce the winning contractors and have construction begin before the end of the year.

                        The Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong route will be 313 kilometres in length and cost 72 billion baht.

                        The project will start from Den Chai station in Phrae province and run to Chiang Khong station in Chiang Rai province. The SRT will divide the project in three contracts covering railway construction, signal system installation, and construction of an underground tunnel.

                        The Ban Phai-Maha Sarakham-Roi Et-Mukdahan route will cover 355 kilometres and cost 55 billion baht to build.

                        The SRT will announce the terms of reference of the projects at its online platform this month.:

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • #13
                          New rail links to ease jams

                          Hopes are high that this year, Bangkok will see a reduction in traffic congestion and improvements in air quality, as several mass transit systems under construction for the past few years are scheduled to begin limited trial operations.

                          Four new electric rail routes will be added to Bangkok's growing rapid transit network this year after three lines were added to the list last year.

                          The first was the 13-kilometre elevated extension of the MRT Blue Line, which runs between Bang Sue and Tha Phra stations. The extension -- which began operating in March last year -- concluded the project, which was envisioned as a loop around Bangkok.

                          Then, the BTS Skytrain Green Line extension between Wat Phra Si Mahathat and Khu Khot stations opened in mid-December.

                          The opening of the 9.8-kilometre extension means the skytrain system now spans 68.25 kilometres with 59 stations from Samut Prakan at one end, to Pathum Thani at the other.

                          In the same month, Bangkok welcomed the Gold Line -- a 1.72-km monorail that links Krung Thon Buri station with Khlong San district office. The line allows passengers to interchange with the numerous boat services that run along the Chao Phraya River.

                          The Bangkok Post takes a closer look at the four electric rail routes which are due to come online later in the year.

                          Pink Line: Nonthaburi-Min Buri (Test run: July)

                          Designed to accommodate commuter demands in northern Bangkok, the 34.5-km-long rail link between Nonthaburi and Min Buri -- also known as the Pink Line -- is scheduled to commence trial operations in July.

                          The monorail system, which will have 30 stations in total, will run between Khae Rai in Nonthaburi and Min Buri district in east Bangkok via Ram Inthra Road.

                          The trial operations were supposed to run almost the entire length of the system, from Min Buri to Nonthaburi Civic Centre station. However, due to technical limitations, the carriages will only run from Min Buri to Wat Phra Si Mahathat station, where passengers can interchange with the Green Line.

                          While the trial run will be limited, the Pink Line's opening will undoubtedly be welcomed by Bangkokians -- especially those who have had to endure the heavy congestion along Ram Inthra Road.

                          The monorail will use driverless carriages which will run at a maximum speed of 80km/h. Each rolling stock can accommodate about 1,000 passengers per trip, and full services are expected to begin in October 2022.

                          The completion of the Pink Line was delayed due to a number of issues, including access to construction areas and complex construction environments which forced the redesign of two stations.

                          Yellow Line: Lat Phrao-Samut Prakan (Test run: July)

                          In the same month, the Yellow Line will open for limited trial runs between Wat Sri Iam and Samrong stations.

                          The 30.4-km monorail system, with 23 stations in total, was envisioned as a minor transit system to shuttle commuters between Lat Phrao in Bangkok and Samrong in Samut Prakan.

                          While the construction of the Yellow Line is on schedule so far, there is one hurdle before the finish line -- the 2.6-km extension from Ratchada-Lat Phrao intersection to Ratchayothin intersection.

                          The extension is under scrutiny because some fear the proposed interchange will eat the revenue of the MRT Blue Line, as it would allow commuters to connect with the Green Line without having to go via the Blue Line.

                          According to a study by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), the number of Blue Line users will drop by about 6,000 people per day if the extension is in service. As such, many observers have said this may prove to be a sticking point.

                          "But we'll have no real figure [on revenue losses] until the Yellow Line extension opens. We'll talk about compensation later when it's time. And we can assure that a decision will be made with the public interest at heart," a source at MRTA was quoted as saying.

                          BSR Joint Venture won the bids to construct the Yellow and Pink lines under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme in 2016.

                          Meanwhile, Bombardier Transportation Holding (Thailand) is contracted to supply 42 monorail carriages and their engines for the Pink Line and 30 carriages for the Yellow Line.

                          Red Lines: Bang Sue-Taling Chan, Bang Sue-Rangsit (Test run: November)

                          The other two rail links which are scheduled to open next year are the Bang Sue-Taling Chan and Bang Sue-Rangsit routes. Collectively, they are known as the State Railway of Thailand's (SRT) Red Line.

                          The line is further divided into two -- the 15-km route between Bang Sue and Taling Chan is known as the "Light Red" line, while the 26.3-km route between Bang Sue and Rangsit is known as the "Dark Red" line.

                          A trial run, in which the public will be allowed to travel along the line free of charge, is scheduled to begin in July this year, with commercial services to commence in November.

                          The commuter train system was first approved in 2007, but the first phase of its construction did not begin until 2013.

                          In addition to repeated delays, the cost of the project also came under intense scrutiny -- the project ultimately cost 93.5 billion baht to build, up from 75.5 billion baht initially.

                          Construction on the Bang Sue-Taling Chan section was actually completed in 2012, but regular operations could not begin until the required signalling systems are installed.

                          Some 140 million baht was approved by the government to renovate infrastructure which had laid unused.

                          When completed, the Light Red line is expected to shuttle 35,000 passengers daily from Taling Chan in the west to Bang Sue station.

                          Meanwhile, the Bang Sue-Rangsit section, or the Light Red line, was designed to accommodate up a maximum of 300,000, although only about 86,000 commuters are expected to use the line when it opens.:
                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • #14
                            BMA looks into three approaches to solve thorny issues with BTS

                            January 15 will be the last day the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) allows commuters to use the Green Line Skytrain extension sections for free, after the sections that run from Mo Chit to Ku Kot stations on the northern route and from Bearing to Samut Prakan stations on the southern route were officially opened for public use on December 16.

                            Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang earlier said that the BMA had been negotiating with Skytrain operator Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTS) about the fair for the BTS network, which consists of 59 stations covering a total distance of 68 kilometres.

                            Despite a preliminary study concluding that the suitable maximum train fare for all BTS routes should be Bt158, Aswin said: “We aim to set the starting fare at Bt15 and a maximum fare of Bt65 to avoid creating a financial burden for passengers.

                            “The BMA will also discuss with the BTS train operation fees of Bt8.6 billion that we still owe them, and we will ask the government to help solve the issue,” he said.This has hindered BTS’s extension of the contract for operation of the Green Line extensions.

                            A BMA news source recently said the administration was considering three approaches to solve thorny issues with the BTS.

                            The first approach is for the BMA to look for a new contractor to operate the Skytrain after the existing contract expires in 2029. This will allow the BMA to maintain a low fare rate. However, the BMA will need enough cash to pay a loan interest of Bt1.3 billion per year, as well as other compensations to BTS, including compensation for a loss of extension section services at Bt1.5 billion per year, as well as the Bt20-billion fee for electrical and mechanical systems and another Bt20 billion as compensation to the BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund (BTSGIF).

                            The second approach is for the BMA to hire the BTS to operate the Skytrain until 2042. This will likely end any dispute with the BTS while making fares flexible for adjustment. However, the BMA still needs enough cash to pay a loan interest of Bt1.3 billion per year and compensation of Bt1.5 billion to the BTS for the loss of services on extended routes.

                            The third approach is for the BMA to extend the existing contract with the BTS for another 30 years (2029-2059). This will be the best option in case the BMA cannot obtain any aid from the government. Under the terms of the contract extension, the BTS will help the BMA pay the loan interest of Bt1.3 billion per year until 2029, and will have to set fares within the Bt15-Bt65 range. The BTS will also have to share the fare it collects with the BMA at an estimated total of Bt200 billion throughout the contract period. This is subject to increase in case the BTS sees more than 9.6 per cent of turnover.

                            BTS chief executive officer Surapong Laoha-Unya said the company is awaiting BMA’s decision on the fare rate, but is prepared to operate the Skytrain on extended routes after the free-fare period ends on January 15.“Normally it take 3-4 days for the system to issue new sets of tickets, but the BTS will inform passengers 30 days in advance as per the contract conditions,” he added.:

                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • #15
                              Do you know when the Mahachai section of the red line is scheduled?


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