STATE Railway of Thailand (SRT) is preparing to invite bids for the initial phase of its national track-doubling programme, which will provide much-needed additional capacity on the metre-gauge network.
According to The Nation newspaper, Mr Soithip Trissuddh, deputy permanent secretary of the transport ministry, said last week that work on doubling the 106km Chachoengsao – Kaeng Khoi line east of Bangkok would begin by the end of the year, and that after several years of delay SRT is certain construction can finally begin.
The Thai cabinet has already approved the project and an environmental impact assessment has been completed. SRT is currently drafting tender documents and expects construction to begin immediately after the contract is signed.
SRT has identified five other lines totalling 767km for track doubling, including:
– Map Kabao – Jira Junction (132km)
– Nakhon Pathom – Hua Hin (165km)
– Lop Buri – Pak Nampo (118km)
– Nakhon Ratchasima – Khon Kaen (185km), and
– Prachuap Khiri Khan – Chumphon (167km).
SRT expects tenders for all five projects to be issued next year, although funding is subject to parliamentary approval of the cabinet’s borrowing bill.