Delays hit Bangkok’s Siriraj rail link project

Construction News
A light projection is seen at Siriraj Hospital, along the Chao Phraya River in January last year. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Delays hit Bangkok’s Siriraj rail link project

Hospital building to serve as interchange

The Ministry of Transport is preparing to extend a memorandum of understanding for a rail link project that will connect the Light Red and Orange lines with Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok.

The memorandum, signed by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) and Siriraj Hospital on May 2, 2019, is due to end on May 1 this year.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Chayatan Phromsorn, said on Wednesday the ministry was in discussions with the hospital about seeking the extension due to delays in two projects — the SRT’s Light Red Line (Taling Chan-Siriraj section) and the MRTA’s Orange Line (Bang Khun Non-Min Buri section).

He said the two transit lines have not yet been built as the Transport Ministry is still working on a feasibility study that will see it suggest the Public-Private Partnership model be used to help fund the SRT project.

The MRTA is also drafting a proposal for a joint venture investment plan.

Mr Chayatan said the participants considered extending the period of the contract duration until the two transit lines are finished, along with a 15-storey building at the hospital.

A working panel was formed comprising the Transport Ministry, Rail Transport Department and Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning to discuss ways of speeding up the work so it can finish as planned, including an outline of the operational plan as the project moves forward, Mr Chayatan said.

The space-sharing agreement positions the new hospital building as an interchange for the two transit lines.

Under the agreement, it would be built on 48,000 square metres of SRT land adjacent to the hospital, which is located on the riverside.

The building will serve as a medical facility for outpatients and inpatients, as well as providing same-day surgeries.

The first two storeys will serve as the interchange for the two transit lines.

The building will also include a car park and service area for commuters in Bangkok as well as hospital visitors.