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  • #16
    SRT cancels 42 trains due to second wave of Covid-19

    The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on Friday cancelled 42 commercial and tourism trains following government measures to reduce domestic travel to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

    The move is in response to measures announced by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

    “The cancellation covers 12 tourism trains that are scheduled to run every weekend from January 9 and 30 commercial trains running from January 13 to February 28,” the SRT said.

    The cancelled tourism trains are:

    No. 997/998 Bangkok-Plutaluang-Bangkok
    No. 909/910 Bangkok-Nam Tok-Bangkok
    No. 911/912 Bangkok-Sea Pine Garden-Bangkok
    No. 915/916 Kanchanaburi-Nam Tok-Kanchanaburi
    No. 921/926 Bangkok-Pasak Jolasid Dam-Bangkok
    No. 923/928 Bangkok-Pasak Jolasid Dam-Bangkok (route 2)

    The cancelled commercial trains are:

    (Northern route)
    No. 9/10 Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok
    No. 51/52 Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok
    No. 107/108 Bangkok-Denchai-Bangkok
    No. 109/102 Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok

    (Northeastern route)
    No. 23/24 Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok
    No. 25/26 Bangkok-Nong Khai-Bangkok
    No. 71/72 Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok
    No. 75/76 Bangkok-Nong Khai-Bangkok
    No. 139/140 Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok
    No. 145/146 Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok

    (Southern route)
    No. 31/32 Bangkok-Hat Yai-Bangkok
    No. 39/40 Bangkok-Surat Thani-Bangkok
    No. 43/44 Bangkok-Surat Thani-Bangkok
    No. 83/84 Bangkok-Trang-Bangkok
    No. 175/176 Hat Yai-Sungai Kolok-Hat Yai

    Passengers who bought the tickets can get a full refund at any station nationwide. For further information, contact hotline 1690.:

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    • #17
      BTS runs more trains to help maintain social distancing

      Surapong Laoha-Unya, chairman and chief executive officer of BTS Group, said the company had increased train frequency to 2:25 minutes per arrival from 2.40 minutes to support social distancing despite the drop in the number of passengers recently.

      The temperature of all passengers will be checked before entry with alcohol gel offered to clean the hands.BTS has also recommended that all passenger register on ThaiChana for travel record.:

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      • #18
        BMA hikes fares on some Green Line routes

        Fares on some of the Green Line routes have been hiked by Bt3 per station.

        On Friday evening, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced the new fares for the Green Line BTS Skytrain.

        The new fares are:

        - From Ha Yaek Lat Phrao station (N9) to Ku Kot station (N24), comprising 16 stations, -- Bt15-Bt45 (increasing from the current rate by Bt3 per station)

        - From On Nut station (E9) to Mo Chit station (N8), comprising 17 stations; from National Stadium station (W1) to Saphan Taksin station (S6), comprising six stations; and from Krung Thon Buri station (S7) to Wongwian Yai station (S8), comprising two stations, will remain unchanged.

        - From Bang Chak station (E10) to Bearing station (E14), comprising five stations, and from Samrong station (E15) to Keha Samut Prakarn station (E23), comprising nine stations -- Bt15-Bt45 (up by Bt3 per station)

        - From Pho Nimit station (S9) to Bang Wa station (S12), comprising four stations -- Bt15-Bt24 (up by Bt3 per station)- The maximum fare for all Green Line routes will be Bt104.

        The new fares will be effective from February 16.

        The Transport Ministry on Saturday asked the BMA to defer the scheduled fare hike of the Green Line mass transit route to a maximum of Bt104 until the new rate is agreed to by all involved parties.The BMA had earlier on Friday issued a statement saying the ceiling on fares shall be set at Bt65.:

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        • #19
          War of words over Orange Line fares

          The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) on Monday pointed out that maximum fares on the Orange Line electric train were cheaper than those on the BTS Green Line.

          MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas said the fare cap of of 62 baht had been used as a reference price only in its Public Private Partnership (PPP) official report for bidding purposes.

          In reality, passengers would only pay from 15-45 baht to travel on the Orange Line, he said.

          The MRTA governor was speaking to correct media reports comparing the cost of travel on the state-funded MRTA with the BTS Green Line, a private sector route, which had given the impression that the maximum fares were not that different.

          The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) was attacked for raising the ceiling of the whole 68.25-km stretch of the BTS Green Line to 158 baht, a huge leap from 65 baht.

          City Hall raised the maximum fare to repay 100 billion baht it owes BTS Group, the private sector that co-funded and operates the service.

          At first, the BMA said the fare cap would be 65 baht but it revised the figure up after the government refused to grant another 30-year-concession to BTS Group.

          In requesting to renew its concession for the Green Line, BTS Group had offered to freeze the fare cap at 65 baht and share the 200 billion baht in revenue with the state.

          To placate angry consumers, BMA governor Aswin Kwanmuang swiftly announced a lower ceiling of 104 baht but the MRTA, which comes under the umbrella of ministry of transport, lambasted the BTS Green Line fare as still being too expensive.

          The 35.9-km Orange Line will connect the eastern and western parts of Bangkok. The 22.5-km eastern section of the line will have 17 stations and the 13.4-km western section 11 stations.

          The governor insisted that Orange Line fares would be considered carefully in order to minimise people's travel expenses as much as possible.

          At the same time he wanted to promote the use of public transport, which could help with solving the problems of traffic congestion and PM 2.5 levels in and around Bangkok.

          The governor is said to be insistent that the fares charged by other electric rail systems are not cheaper than those of the Green Line when all factors, including total distance, are considered.

          "Let's compare numbers. The MRT Blue Line charges 1.62 baht per kilometre while the Green Line charges 1.23 baht for the same distance,'' he said.:

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          • #20
            SRT given 1 week to avert station losses

            Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob is calling on the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to come up with a plan to generate at least 400 million baht a year from its management of the commercial space at Bang Sue grand station.

            The figure relates to the station's 298,200-square-metre commercial space and the minister wants it raised each year until until 2024 when a bid will be held to find a private operator to run the entire area.

            The SRT will continue to manage the space until then and Mr Saksayam has voiced his displeasure at the SRT's current plan, which Mr Saksayam said was a "loss maker".

            The cost of managing the space until 2024 is estimated to be 1.4 billion baht while the projected income should be at least 400 million baht a year or 1.2 billion baht over the next three years, said the minister, still an overall loss of 200 million baht.

            Mr Saksayam has ordered the SRT to revise its plan, insisting that management of the station's commercial space must not end up becoming another financial burden for the government.

            The SRT should not run up high losses on the space, he said by way of an ultimatum to the SRT.

            Mr Saksayam ordered the revised plan be submitted within a week to Chayatham Phromsorn, permanent secretary for transport, before it is forwarded for ministerial approval.

            In 2024, a private company will be selected to manage the space in a public-private partnership (PPP) investment arrangement.

            Mr Saksayam said the SRT had to ensure the commercial space is profitable because more than 30 billion baht had been invested in developing Bang Sue grand station.

            He also ordered that all Red Line stations be tidied up ahead the official test run of a new service in March.

            The SRT has also been told to finalise its scheme to try and mitigate the impact of the planned closure of Hua Lamphong station on passengers who normally travel to it using community trains.

            The transport permanent secretary has been assigned to find options for those passengers.:

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            • #21
              MRTA scraps Orange Line bidding

              In a blow to Bangkok’s mass-transit plans, bidding for the Orange Line to link the east and west of the city was cancelled on Wednesday.

              Kittikorn Tanpao, deputy governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), said the project’s selection committee had scrapped the current tender process for the Bang Khun Non-Min Buri (Suwinthawong) line.

              The MRTA, which comes under the Transport Ministry, will now issue a cancellation notice and restart the entire auction process.

              The move came after Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), a potential bidder, successfully petitioned the court last September for a reversion to the original bidding criteria.

              The new auction will consider private bids according to criteria covering 30 technical points and 70 price points.

              The Bt128.13-billion Orange Line project is being run as a 30-year public-private partnership.

              The MRTA said it has constructed 70 per cent of the Orange Line’s eastern section from Thailand Cultural Centre to Minburi, which is set to open in 2024. The second-phase western section from Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non is scheduled to open in 2026.:

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              • #22
                Bangkok’s century-old Hua Lamphong station makes tracks towards railway history

                After more than a century serving passengers, Thailand’s largest railway hub will reach the end of the line this year.

                If Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob gets his way, the Bangkok Railway Station (aka Hua Lamphong) will fall off the network map as soon as the shiny Bang Sue Grand Station opens in November.

                Hua Lamphong won’t just be shunted into memory, though. Slowly gathering steam are plans to welcome visitors onboard its new journey as a museum.

                Heritage from King Rama V’s reign

                Construction of the grand Bangkok Railway Station edifice began in 1910, in the final year of King Rama V’s reign. Its European neo-renaissance design was the brainchild of Italian architect Mario Tamagno, who also dreamt up the magnificent Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. Dominated by its Italian-style dome, Hua Lamphong looks a lot like the Frankfurt Train Station. According to one story, King Rama V became enamoured with the German train station during his trip to Europe.

                Construction of Bangkok’s temple to rail travel was completed in the reign of King Rama VI, with the first train drawing up to the station’s platform on June 25, 1916.

                The Bangkok Railway Station now sprawls over a 120-rai plot in Rong Mueang, Pathum Wan district, surrounded by Mahanak Canal to the North, Rama IV Road to the South, Rong Mueang Road to the East, and Phadung Krungkasem Canal to the West.

                Seen by thousands of passengers and passers-by each day, the big clock over the entrance was made to order and spans 1.6 metres in diameter.

                The original Hua Lamphong

                At the mention of Hua Lamphong, Thais today automatically think of the Bangkok Railway Station. But decades ago, Bangkok and Hua Lamphong stations were two different places.

                The original Hua Lamphong was located on the traffic island in front of the current station and marked one end of Thailand’s first railway line, built in 1893. The privately operated line stretched about 30 kilometres to Samut Prakan’s Pak Nam until it was shut in 1960.

                The new Bangkok Railway Station was nicknamed Hua Lamphong after the original was demolished.

                Strange name rooted in history

                The railway station took its name from the old district on which it was built. History books indicate it was once a vast field where cows grazed beneath the shade of datura trees. In Thai, the word for datura is “Lamphong”, while cows are called “Wua”. The pronunciation changed slightly over time, and the area ended up being known as Hua Lamphong – a name that transferred to the old railway station that rose on the spot.

                Heyday of rail

                The Bangkok Railway Station also marked Thailand’s entry to the modern era under the forward-thinking King Chulalongkorn. This was at a time when motorcars and airplanes were still a rare sight in the country.

                Over the years, Hua Lamphong has been refurbished to keep pace with growing demand and modern trends. Capacity of its platforms and ticket counters has been boosted, and more than 200 trains now serve well over 100,000 passengers daily at peak periods.

                Turning a new page

                The State Railway of Thailand confirmed last month that parts of Hua Lamphong will be converted into a museum. No details have been provided, but there is little doubt that the station’s artistic decor and heritage architecture merit conservation. Moreover, the station already houses a time capsule of train history.

                The Thai Railways Museum boasts fascinating exhibits that showcase Thailand’s long love affair with rail travel. Featured are old tools from the steam age, cardboard train tickets, signalling lamps and benches made from decommissioned sleepers. Visitors can even journey back in time at a re-created platform to experience train travel as their ancestors knew it.:

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                • #23
                  Work on pier connecting MRT Purple Line and electric boat service to finish in March

                  The construction of Phra Nangklao Bridge Pier is expected to finish in March and serve as a transportation hub for commuters of MRT Purple Line train and electric boat service in the Bangkok and Nonthaburi areas, the Marine Department said.

                  “The construction is now 90 per cent complete,” department director-general Witthaya Thamuang said on Sunday.

                  “When finished, the pier would help attract more commuters to use electric boats as an alternative to land transport, which will ultimately help reduce air pollution caused by PM2.5 dust particles, as well as promote tourism along Chao Phraya River,” he said.

                  The construction of Phra Nangklao Bridge Pier is under co-management of the Marine Department and Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), under the Ministry of Transport’s master plan to connect road, rail and boat networks in metropolitan areas.

                  Witthaya added that the department is also planning to improve the Nonthaburi Pier by installing security infrastructure and improving the landscape.

                  “Nonthaburi Pier would become the country’s second ‘Smart Pier’ and would also serve as a leisure park,” he said, adding, “During the Covid-19 situation, the department installed thermal scanning checkpoints at all piers and made the wearing of face masks compulsory in the transport system to prevent the spread of the virus.”:

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                  • #24
                    Bangkok administration slams brakes on Green Line fare hike plan

                    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on Monday postponed the raising of fare for the Green Line BTS Skytrain to a maximum of Bt104 for the entire route.

                    The BMA announced on January 15 that fares on some of the Green Line routes would be raised by Bt3 per station to the maximum of Bt104, to be effective on February 16.Read More: BMA hikes fares on some Green Line routes

                    The Green Line extension sections from Bearing to Samut Prakarn stations and from Mo Chit to Ku Kot stations had been partly opened for public use since April 3, 2018, and the whole route was opened on December 16. The BMA had not collected additional fares on the sections on top of the original fare rate of Bt65, which had led to its decision to hike the fare in order to pay the retroactive operating fee to Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc [BTSC] of Bt9.6 billion.

                    Monday's announcement, signed by Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, said that the government had ordered BMA to postpone the fare hike because of the impact it would have on people during the Covid-19 crisis.

                    “The BMA, therefore, has decided to postpone the hiking of fares for the Green Line Skytrain indefinitely,” it said.:

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                    • #25
                      Thailand - The BTS SkyTrain system operates in 2 lines with a total of 52 stations.:

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                      • #26
                        Red Line test run next month

                        The test run for the Red Line railway will commence on March 26.

                        The timeline of the test run had been decided by the SRT Committee on Monday, Nirut Maneephan, governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), said on Tuesday.

                        "March 26 happens to be the anniversary of the SRT," he said, adding that commuters would not be charged until July 28 when the Red Line is officially open and ready to collect fares.

                        The Red Line rail system covers the greater Bangkok area, running from Thammasat's Rangsit campus to Bang Sue and Taling Chan.

                        The SRT Committee also approved a plan to hire consultants to advise on how it could engage in the commercial development of the spaces inside and outside the Red Line's stations.

                        Commercial projects, said Mr Nirut, would dovetail carpark spaces and advertising signs. The committee has also prepared bidding documents to select sellers and commercial developers at Bang Sue Grand Station, where the Red Line will pass.

                        Mr Nirut quoted Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob saying the commercial development at Bang Sue Grand Central should be paired with a shopping mall, similar to that of Don Mueang airport and Suvarnabhumi airport.

                        For the commercial development of Bang Sue Grand Central station, the SRT will next month hire another consultancy firm to advise on the bidding for commercial spaces in May. Shops at Bang Sue are set to open in November.

                        "The SRT has expanded the commercial areas from the originally planned 5% to 20 and 30% to cover the costs of operating the station. Ticket selling spaces have been downsized as passengers tend to buy their tickets online anyway," he said.

                        He added that the SRT was also discussing the future of Hua Lamphong Railway Station with other agencies. "It will be closed but we have yet to decide on the future of the area," he said.:
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                        • #27
                          MRTA signs Pink Line add-on deal

                          The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) on Tuesday signed a contract to jointly invest in designing, constructing and finding an electric rail operation system to provide maintenance services to the Pink Line's 4-billion-baht Si Rat-Muang Thong Thani extension route.

                          Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who presided over Tuesday's contract-signing ceremony, said this specific extension route of the Pink Line was approved by the government as part of its efforts to upgrade the mass rail transport system in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces.

                          "Electric rail transport will not only help boost the economy but it will also improve the quality of life for commuters while being environmentally-friendly,'' said Mr Anutin.

                          The MRTA governor, Pakapong Sirikantaramas, said the main part of the Pink Line is scheduled to begin operating next year, while the extension is scheduled to be finished in 2024.

                          Consisting of two stations, the elevated extension will stretch 3 kilometres, he said, adding that construction of this extension is expected to take 37 months.

                          The extension will connect to the Pink Line's main section at Si Rat station and will extend to Muang Thong Thani along the Chaeng Watthana-Pak Kret 39 Road. The line will end near Muang Thong Thani's lake.

                          The Pink Line extension is expected to serve about 13,785 passengers per day, he said.:

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                          • #28
                            BTSC seeks PM’s intervention to halt the Orange Line’s extension project

                            The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) has petitioned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to order the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to halt the Orange Line’s western extension project, until there is a ruling from the Administrative Court.

                            In the petition letter, BTSC chairman and CEO Khiri Kanchanapas alleges that the MRTA, the state agency overseeing the 120-billion baht extension project, had unlawfully changed the bidding criteria, by focusing more on revenue sharing than on the technical specifications, prompting the BTSC to seek redress from the Administrative Court.

                            The MRTA cancelled the bidding and the BTSC filed a petition, with the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, against MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantharamas for unlawfully cancelling the bidding.

                            The Administrative Court later issued an injunction suspending any new bidding, until there is a final ruling from the court.

                            Mr. Khiri said, in the petition letter, that the arbitrary decision, by the MRTA, to change the bidding terms after potential investors had already received them, will affect foreign investor confidence in the government and tarnish its reputation.

                            The prime minister said earlier, however, that he has no authority to intervene in this conflict and urged all parties concerned to come together to resolve the problem.

                            The extension project, from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri, will have 11 underground stations and track covering a distance of 13.4 kilometres, linking Bangkok’s western and eastern suburbs.:

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                            • #29
                              SRT set to call bids for B128bn rail ventures

                              The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is preparing to call bids for two double-track railway projects worth 128 billion baht with results expected to be known by the end of this year.

                              SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said contractors for both rail projects will be selected through an e-bidding process with the northern rail route worth 72.9 billion baht to go first.

                              The 323-kilometre northern rail project runs from Den Chai in Phrae to Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai.

                              Construction of the Den Chai-Chiang Rai route is divided into three contracts: the 103km Den Chai-Ngao section (26.5 billion baht), the 132km Ngao-Chiang Rai section (26.9 billion baht) and the 87km section from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong (19.4 billion baht).

                              Mr Nirut said the next double-track rail project to be put up for the e-bidding is the 355-km northeastern route with an estimated cost of 55.4 billion baht. The route links Ban Phai district in Khon Kaen with Nakhon Phanom province in the upper Northeast.

                              Construction of the Ban Phai-Nakhon Phanom route is split into two contracts -- the 180km Ban Phai-Nong Phok section (27.1 billion baht) and the 175km Nong Phok-Nakhon Phanom (28.3 billion baht).

                              Work on the two rail route projects includes building elevated sections, underpasses, overpasses, train stations, and installation of signalling and telecommunication systems. Construction of the northern route is expected to be completed in six years while that of the northeastern project will take about four years.:

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                              • #30
                                China-Thailand high-speed railway sees entire phase one contract signed

                                A number of Chinese construction companies have signed a construction agreement with Thai transportation authorities for the first phase of the long-discussed high-speed railway between the Thai capital, Bangkok, and the Chinese city of Kunming, running through Laos.

                                The first phase runs 251km from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand, and it is expected to carry 250km/h trains by 2026, the Communist Party of China’s newspaper, Global Times, reported, citing state television network CCTV.

                                It said the total budget for the first phase is about $5.85bn, with the civil engineering contracts accounting for some $880m.

                                Chinese companies are in the consortium contracted to carry out the civil engineering work on the first section.

                                When complete, the 870km railway will carry trains from Bangkok to the Thai border town of Nong Khai, where a bridge will link the line to the China-Laos railway now under construction, making it possible to travel by train all the way from Bangkok north through Laos to Kunming, in China’s Yunnan province.

                                The railway was first proposed in a memorandum of understanding signed by the Chinese and Thai governments in 2014. Then Thailand walked away from talks in March 2016 after the two sides failed to agree a price for the fist phase.

                                Then, in July 2017, the two governments settled on a price of $5.2bn for the first phase.

                                Smaller contracts have been awarded to start the first phase. In December 2020, China Railway Construction Corp won a $415m contract to build the first 40km of track from Bangok.

                                A second high-speed railway, costed at $7.2bn, is also being built from Bangkok down its southeastern coast to the resort hub of Pattaya and on to U-Tapao Airport in Rayong province.

                                These two high-speed railways will meet at Bangkok’s new Bang Sue Grand Station, billed as Southeast Asia’s biggest train station, which is set for completion this year.: https://www.globalconstructionreview...s-entire-phas/
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