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  • #61
    Transport Ministry pushes for new Ayutthaya high-speed train station

    The Transport Ministry has instructed the Department of Rail Transport and State Railway of Thailand to check laws related to the building of a new train station in Ayutthaya and proceed with the project.

    Transport Ministry pushes for new Ayutthaya high-speed train station
    The development of a high-speed railway from Bangkok to Nong Khai, which will then connect to the Laos-China rail line, hit a bump last year when it came to building a new station in Ayutthaya.

    The Fine Arts Department has decreed that the new station must be designed in such a way that it reflects the historical value of the existing station. Though the existing station is not part of Ayutthaya’s area given the World Heritage Status, it is of great historical significance because it was built during the reign of King Rama V.

    Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob is scheduled to soon chair another meeting to discuss the development of the high-speed railway and its connection with the Laos-China line.:

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    • #62
      Court dismisses case against MRTA, says it has already provided facilities for the disabled

      The Central Administrative Court on Wednesday dismissed a case against the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) by Disabilities Thailand, which claimed the MRTA has not provided elevators and other facilities under appropriate safety standards for disabled persons at 16 Purple Line train stations on the Bang Yai-Bang Sue section.

      The court said it is evident the MRTA has already installed elevators, stair lifts and ramps fitted with safety rails for disabled persons at every station.

      The MRTA has also provided ticket booths, restrooms and parking space reserved for disabled persons, as well as different floor textures to facilitate navigation for the visually impaired in station areas, the court noted.

      “Within each train car, the MRTA has also provided two parking spots for wheelchairs fitted with safety belts and locking mechanisms that can be released in case of emergency, two reserved seats for the disabled, children, pregnant women or elders, as well as signs indicating that the area is reserved for disabled persons,” the court said.

      It agreed that the MRTA has complied with the Interior Ministry’s regulations on equipment and facilities for the disabled and elderly within buildings and public transport service areas.

      The court therefore dismissed the case.:

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      • #63
        Donated trains stir controversy

        A decision the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) made to pay about 42.5 million baht for the shipment of 17 second-hand diesel locomotive trains donated by the Japanese Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) has stirred social media controversy about their value.

        Social media criticism erupted this week after the railway company on Monday announced its plan to hire a company to ship the donated trains from Japan to Thailand.

        On Thursday, the SRT announced it had selected Deugro Projects (Thailand) Co to ship the 17 trains at a cost of 42.5 million baht, including import and value-added taxes, sparking more online criticism.


        Some Facebook users with high followings began asking why Thailand must pay the 42.5 million baht for the used trains.

        Many netizens who oppose the idea described the trains as "scrap metal".

        However, the "Thailand Transportation" Facebook page, a proponent of the plan, published a post saying there's more to the donated second-hand trains.

        In the post, the administrator of the Facebook page shared his experience about travelling on a KiHa 183 train in 2016 in Japan before the model was phased out and replaced by a newer one.

        If the trains were purchased when they were brand new, these 17 trains would cost between 510 and 560 million baht, the post said.

        Thailand is getting these trains for free, and they are still in very good condition, it said.

        The administrator also posted pictures of his travels on board a train. The post said the images were taken in April 2016, before the train was replaced by a newer model later that year.

        It said he travelled from Abashiri to Sapporo, a journey of more than 300 kilometres.

        The administrator also posted photos of the interior of a train, saying it still looked new because it was well-maintained.

        The train is also newer when compared with the SRT's current Daewoo diesel trains, the post said.

        These trains have been well-maintained while waiting for Thailand to transport them from Japan, it said.

        Only minor repairs had been conducted, including the removal of stains, the post said.

        "Sometimes, we may have to try to view something from another perspective -- engineering in this case," the post said.

        "Don't just politicise every issue," it added.

        The SRT has not responded to questions over the matter. It has however said these trains will be used for tourism promotion purposes.

        In a prior statement, the SRT said it received donated trains from Japan.

        On Nov 24, 2016, 10 used Hamanasu trains and carriages donated by Japan arrived in Thailand and were later converted to promote the kingdom's tourism initiatives, the SRT said.

        It noted that it had earlier received a number of donated railway carriages from JR-West.

        The JR-West trains have been in use for general and tourism services, which have generated a lot of income for the kingdom, the SRT said.

        Ekkarat Si-arayanphong, director of the SRT's public relations centre, said a recent inspection of the 17 donated train carriages found they were in very good condition.

        Mr Ekkarat said that although these train carriages have not been used since 2016, they have always been well-maintained.

        When they arrive in Thailand, the donated trains will undergo a safety inspection once again before they will be modified for use to support the SRT's tourism service from next year onwards, he said.:

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        • #64
          No ban on taking photos in Hua Lamphong station: SRT

          There is no prohibition on taking pictures in Hua Lamphong Railway Station, the public relations centre of the State Railway of Thailand clarified via Facebook, but urged people to check for appropriateness and safety.

          The response came after a Tik Tok user released a video clip claiming that the authorities did not allow people to take pictures inside the Hua Lamphong train station without official permission.

          Those who are interested in doing a photoshoot with a model inside the station must seek permission as there were many instances where photographs were inappropriate or obscene, the SRT said.

          If photographers enter or shoot in a potentially dangerous area, security personnel will warn or prohibit them, the SRT said.:

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          • #65
            Name change for company linking three airports with high-speed railway

            The Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Co Ltd has changed its name to “Asia Era One”, pushing high-speed train routes connecting the three major airports.

            Company president Sarit Jinsit said on Monday that the name change is a bid to reinforce the readiness of the railway project. The company is moving forward with the project to connect the three airports, Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao, with high-speed trains.

            The project is established under the concept of “reimagining horizons” to elevate the travel experience with modern rail transportation, and to develop the country’s transportation service to become a world-class travel hub with international standards, he said.

            “The name Asia Era One is in line with the company's vision of being the central hub of Asia to connect people and nations for the brighter future. Meanwhile, the name also resonates with Erawan elephant, the vehicle of god Indra, which is a symbol of strength, good deeds and fertility. The company's aim is to bring pride to the country with its elevated international standards,” said Sarit.:

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            • #66
              SRT resumes 18 more trains to North, South and Northeast

              The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will from Thursday start servicing another 18 routes now that lockdown restrictions have been eased.

              SRT announced on Tuesday that more trains will start running to the South, North and Northeast, though all measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 will be strictly observed. Trains will also not stop at “dark red” provinces during the 9pm to 4am curfew hours.

              The 18 routes that will reopen are:

              Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok diesel special express No 7/8
              Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok special express No 9/10
              Bangkok-Hat Yai-Bangkok diesel special express No 43/40
              Bangkok-Hat Yai-Bangkok special express No 31/32
              Bangkok-Trang-Bangkok express train No 83/84
              Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat-Bangkok express train No 85/86
              Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok fast train No 139/140
              Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok special express No 23/24
              Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok diesel express No 71/72

              SRT has also shifted Bangkok-Thung Song-Bangkok to Bangkok-Sungai Kolok-Bangkok serviced by fast train No 171/172.:
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              • #67
                MRTA steams ahead with public hearing on South Purple Line

                The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) launched a public hearing for the terms of reference (TOR) in the bidding of the Purple Line mass-transit rail extension project from Tao Poon to Rat Burana – known as the South Purple Line.

                Interested parties from the mass transit industry and financial institutes, as well as manufacturers of heavy rail systems and general investors are invited to download public hearing documents and related information in Thai and English via the website from Thursday (September 23) until October 17 and submit their opinions to the MRTA between October 11 and 17 via email [email protected] or [email protected] or fax 02716-4022.:

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                • #68
                  SRT aims to have all Red Line extensions running by 2025

                  The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) announced on Thursday that all Red Line extensions will be up for service in 2025.

                  It said the extension project is being studied and will be completed under a public-private partnership (PPP) system.

                  The mass-transit commuter line will be extended in four sections covering 53.84 kilometres and will cost a total of 67.5 billion baht.

                  The four extensions are:

                  • Rangsit-Thammasat University Rangsit: An 8.84km line costing 6.57 billion baht with 28,150 commuters expected daily in the first year.
                  • Taling Chan-Salaya: A 14.8km line costing 10.2 billion baht with 47,570 commuters daily in the first year.
                  • Taling Chan-Siriraj: A 4.3km line costing 6.64 billion baht with 55,200 passengers expected daily in the first year.
                  • Bang Sue-Hua Lamphong and Bang Sue-Hua Mark: Covering 25.9km with a budget of 44.1 billion baht.

                  SRT is expected to present the progress of the PPP study this month and the project should be finalised by November.:

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                  • #69
                    SRT to pursue civil, criminal cases over theft of Dark Red Line cables

                    A man suspected of cutting Dark Red Line cables to steal them has been arrested, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) said.

                    The alleged cable thief, Annop Khampromma, 31, reportedly cut and stole cables eight times. The value of the damage is under appraisal.

                    SRT Governor Nirut Maneephan revealed he had filed a complaint at Pratunam Police Station after being informed of the theft by the chief of Rangsit Railway Station.

                    Cable cutting does not affect the safety of train services, but it may lead to slower service on the Red Line.

                    The SRT governor has instructed relevant agencies to clear weeds along the fence to facilitate thorough surveillance and to prevent further crime.

                    Nirut said he had ordered the follow-up and prosecution of the perpetrators to the full extent of the law, with both civil and criminal cases to claim damages. The case is a civil offence related to a criminal case. In addition, charges of trespassing, causing risk in operation of the service and damaging government property will be pressed.:

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                    • #70
                      SRT earmarks Bt10.25 billion to acquire land for Northeast double-track project

                      The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is preparing a budget of Bt10.25 billion to expropriate over 17,500 rai (2,800 hectares) of land in six northeastern provinces for construction of a double-track rail route, a news source revealed on Sunday.

                      The project covers a distance of 355 kilometres from Khon Kaen to Nakhon Phanom provinces and passes 19 districts in four other provinces including Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Yasothon and Mukdahan.

                      The SRT will need to expropriate over 7,100 plots of land and 930 buildings that are currently in the project areas.

                      The source revealed that despite some protests by those who will be affected by the expropriation, the majority of local people in the six provinces agreed that the project should start as soon as possible to establish a cheap and reliable transport route that will facilitate the export of products from the northeastern provinces to neighbouring countries.

                      The Khon Kaen - Nakhon Phanom double-track project has a total budget of Bt66.84 billion, with Bt55.46 earmarked for construction of tracks and train system, Bt10.25 for land expropriation, and Bt1.13 for consulting and other services.

                      The project is scheduled to open for public use by 2028.:

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                      • #71
                        Flooding halts 8 train services

                        The State Railway of Thailand has suspended eight train services on the Bangkok-Nong Khai route due to flooding of the track.

                        SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said the track was flooded between Bamnet Narong and Chaturat stations in Chaiyaphum province.

                        The ground underneath the track had also been washed out at a bridge between Ban Luam and Nong Plung stations, leaving an opening about 30 metres long.

                        Water was also pouring over the track between Non Sung and Dong Phlong stations in Nakhon Ratchasima.

                        Effective from Wednesday, eight round-trip services on the Bangkok-Nong Khai route have been suspended. They are:

                        - Express trains No. 75/76 (Bangkok-Nong Khai);
                        - Local trains No. 433-434 (Kaeng Khoi junction-Bua Yai junction);
                        - Local trains No. 415/418 (Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai); and
                        - Local trains No. 429/430 (Nakhon Ratchasima-Bua Yai junction).

                        Services would resume after the water had receded and the damaged track was repaired, Mr Nirut said.

                        State Railway of Thailand staff examine flood damage to the rail track in Bamnet Narong district, Chaiyaphum. (Clip: @pr.railway Facebook page):
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                        • #72
                          BTS suing City Hall for THB12bn Green Line debt

                          BTS Skytrain operator Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) is suing City Hall for 12 billion baht it is owed for operating the Green Line extension, BTSC CEO Surapong Laoha-Unya said on Wednesday.

                          BTSC filed the lawsuit against the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) at the Administrative Court.

                          The company is also in the process of collecting documents and other evidence to file a lawsuit claiming 20 billion baht from the BMA for its purchase of train operating systems for the extension.

                          The move comes after the BMA reportedly failed to meet a debt-repayment deadline in April.

                          Surapong said the overdue payment, totalling nearly 30 billion baht, had impacted business and forced BTS to borrow money. He added that the Green Line extension is still free to use in line with the BMA’s order, which had not changed.

                          “Whether they [BMA] decides to collect fares or not is not up to BTS. It is the BMA’s job to decide,” he added.:

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                          • #73
                            Suvarnabhumi APM train to open in time for return of international travellers

                            The Automated People Mover (APM) train system at Suvarnabhumi airport is 90 per cent complete and should be ready in time for the return of international travellers, its supplier Siemens said on Monday.

                            The APM’s automatic train control (ATC) system was successfully trialled on Monday at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour, added Siemens.

                            It reported that all six of the “Airval” APM trains have been handed over to Airports of Thailand and the service would open for passengers soon.:

                            The current airport terminal and the new satellite terminal are about 1km apart -- it's expected to take the Airval two minutes to make each trip.:

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                            • #74
                              Bangkok’s high-speed airport link slows down as new problems arise

                              The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is facing problems in handing land over for the construction of the high-speed airport railway link due to expropriation problems.

                              As many as 100 expropriation contracts are on hold due to inaccuracies, while the process of getting land ready for the two-section Phya Thai-Bang Sue phase has been further delayed.

                              The Transport Ministry said on Saturday that SRT will be able to deliver 170 kilometres for the Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao link within October 24 as scheduled.

                              The ministry admitted that the expropriation process has been delayed due to discrepancies in area measurement and compensation for the expropriated land. The matter has been forwarded to the Budget Bureau for consideration. The bureau was expected to have concluded its review last month.

                              The ministry expects the problems to be ironed out within 90 days after the October 24 handover and for the construction to be completed on time.

                              The project, which will link Suvarnabhumi, U-Tapao and Don Mueang airports, involves 700 land expropriation contracts. However, 100 contracts have been rejected and more than 200 people are still squatting in the plots required for the project.

                              The SRT has taken the squatters to court and expects them to be ready to hand their land over at the beginning of next year.

                              The Transport Ministry also said the 15.21km for the Bang Sue-Don Mueang section is under preparation, with public utilities such as the pumping station and plumbing being relocated. This area should be ready for delivery to the contractor, CP Group, by February next year.

                              As for the 22km required for the Phya Thai-Bang Sue section, the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) is nearing completion and will be handed over to the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning this month. It is believed the assessment will take six months to review and the area should be handed over to the contractor by the end of next year.:
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                              • #75
                                South train attacked, services affected

                                Southbound trains to Narathiwat were being terminated in Yala on Monday after gunmen damaged a passenger train's braking system in Yala's Raman district on Sunday.

                                Only rapid train services 171 and 172 were operating as usual.

                                Train No 454 from Sungai Kolok to Yala, with five passenger cars, was attacked about 5.05pm near Balo railway station in Raman district, Pol Col Chatree Ratanakoch, chief of Rueso police station, said.

                                Panavech Chanhin, the train driver, said the train had left Rueso station and was passing kilometre marker 1065 when gunmen hiding in trackside bushes opened fire at the locomotive.

                                He heard the shots, hunched down out of sight and kept going to Balo station, which was a short distance ahead. He said territorial defence volunteers on board the train returned fire.

                                Mr Panavech said it was clear to him the train's braking system had been damaged, but he still managed to bring it to a halt at Balo station. Police and soldiers were rushed to the station.

                                An examination revealed that six shots had hit the locomotive on the left side, causing damage to an airbrake line. One shot also hit the first passenger car, but nobody was hurt.

                                Following Sunday's attack, on Monday all local trains between Hat Yai in Songkhla and the three border provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were being halted at Yala station.

                                Only rapid trains Nos 171 and 172 between Bangkok and Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat continued to operate.

                                The State Railway of Thailand labour union, Hat Yai branch, issued a statement calling for all concerned to step up security measures for passengers and train staff.

                                On Aug 28, a bomb exploded as a train carrying agricultural products approached a railway station in Narathiwat. The train was damaged. Gunshots were fired at one carriage. There were no casualties.:

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