Prapat outlines plans for State Railway of Thailand

Construction News

Mr Prapat, whose appointment was endorsed by the cabinet yesterday, said in the next six months improvements will be made to railway station toilets and to provide convenience and security for passengers. The aim was to generate public confidence in the train services.

Train fares would not be increased until services have been improved.

Facilities would be added to Bangkok’s Airport Rail Link, including installing more escalators and elevators at train stations.  A walkway would be built to connect Makkasan station on the airport line with the Phetchaburi station on the Mass Rapid Transit Authority’s underground line.

As a step to solve the SRT’s debt problem, use of SRT land by private firms not paying rent would be examined.  An example of this is  PTT Plc, which has contracts to use many plots of SRT land.

From 2013, PTT’s contracts for use of some SRT land would begin to expire one after another. Once a contract expires, the PTT would have to pay rent for the land because it is not a state-run agency as it was before.

Initially, the rent would be deducted as payments for unpaid accumulated fuel bills owed the PTT, which now amounted to more than 10 billion baht.  If there was still some money left, it would be used to improve living quarters of  staff and SRT offices.

Mr Prapat said he would as soon as possible call for bids for projects to improve SRT infrastructure with a budget of 176 billion baht, so that they are finished in two years and six months.

Pending the completion of the purchase of new locomotives, which would take 20 months, the SRT may have to first lease locomotives for temporary use.

Regarding the Red Line electric train extension between Bang Sue and Rangsit, Mr Prapat said he would find out why a construction contract could not yet be signed.

On the issue of high-speed train projects, he would consult with Transport Minister Chadchat Sitthipan in order to get them started as soon as possible, the new SRT governor said.


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