Italian Thai Development Plc is contracted to build six stations — Bang Khen, Thoong Song Hong, Lak Si, Karn Kaeha, Don Mueang and Rangsit– and to construct the foundations for the planned future Wat Samian Nari and Lak Hok stations.
The construction blueprint provides for the use of about 50% of the existing concrete pillars built for the failed Hopewell project. The SRT has already hired a consulting firm to survey the usability of these existing structures.
The total value of the contract is 21.235 billion baht with completion scheduled in 2016.
Transport Minister Chatchart Suthipan said he instructed the SRT governor to speed up this Red Line rail project, including the extension of the line to two more stations, Thammasat University Rangsit and Navanakorn.
He urged the rail authority to construct planned future stations at the same time as the above two stations. It would help to reduce cost per station by 10-20% compared to calling for tenders at a later time as earlier planned.
The SRT is also instructed to ensure better access to the stations to avoid the problems that arose with the Airport Rail Link, which is subject to many commuter complaints about inconvenience, he said.
The construction of this project must also take into account traffic planning.
He said construction of this section of the Red Line will take about three years. It was expected to be a main commuter route for people in the suburbs travelling in to the city, with an expected 30,000-40,000 passenger trips per hour.
Asked about plans for a high-speed railway, Mr Chatchart said the idea is to allow the private sector in provinces along the planned route to enter the bidding process to construct and develop the stations, where they would be allowed to integrate other property developments like hotels or shopping malls. The private sector would have to share the revenue with the SRT.
“This concept has initially been agreed to by the prime minister so the SRT should consider carrying out the project with a construction timeframe for the high-speed train that may need at least four years,” he said.