Rail link between Thailand and eastern Malaysia studied

Construction News
A passenger sits at Sungai Kolok station waiting to board a train. Thailand plans a rail link with Malaysia from this southernmost station in Narathiwat province. (Photo: Waedao Harai)

Rail link between Thailand and eastern Malaysia studied

Connection from Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat would help promote trade and tourism

Thailand and Malaysia are considering a railway connection between Sungai Kolok and the east coast of Malaysia to promote trade and tourism.

The two countries’ rail agencies are working on a proposal for a link between the border town in Narathiwat province and Rantau Panjang, just across the border in Kelantan state, said Pichet Kunadhamraks, director-general of the Department of Rail Transport.

The eastern line in Malaysia connects with a western section to Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru, a city opposite Singapore.

Mr Pichet led Thailand in talks on Wednesday with Mohd Shahriman Shafein, the Malaysian rail department chief, as a follow-up on promises by their prime ministers, Srettha Thavisn and Anwar Ibrahim, to step up closer cooperation in transport and other areas.

The Thai official said the connection between the Thai and Malaysian lines would encourage more trade, border crossing, tourism and investment between the two areas.

Thailand and Malaysia currently have only one rail connection in Padang Besar, a town in Sadao district in Songkhla province and the Malaysian town bearing the same name.

Malaysia is also working on a new East Coast Rail Link that will terminate at Kota Bharu, about 35km from Sungai Kolok. The megaproject has undergone numerous revisions because of changes in government, and is currently expected to be completed in 2027.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2726449