Siemens engineers venture in Khon Kaen to assemble railway coaches

Construction News

Siemens AG has entered into a partnership with a Khon Kaen company to assemble passenger coaches in Thailand, marking the German train giant’s first foray into local manufacturing.

This year or next, they will tender a bid of 4.9 billion baht or around 100 million to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to build 115 passenger trains, said Hans-Jorg Grundmann, the chief executive of Siemens’ rail systems division.

He was speaking during a trip to Bangkok yesterday.

Siemens has agreed to set up a 50:50 joint venture with Cho Thavee Dollasien Ltd (CTV-Doll), which has its own factory in Khon Kaen.

Siemens’ Thai partner has supplied dining cars in Thailand for many years and has a contract to refurbish SRT trains.

A memorandum of understanding for the partnership will be signed in Thailand this month, said Dr Grundmann.

CTV-Doll will be responsible for manufacturing, assembling and maintenance of the coaches; detailed engineering and assembling of the interiors using local materials whenever possible; and manufacturing complete car body shells including painting.

Siemens will complete the coach designs, provide technical assistance and supply complete bogies and other major components from Vienna.

“We’ve been in partnership talks with CTV-Doll for five or six years until the SRT came up with this project,” said Dr Grundmann.

“This project is expected to draw stiff competition from Chinese, South Korean and Japanese train manufacturers. But Siemens is ready to be a pioneer in manufacturing rail vehicles in Thailand and hopes this collaboration will support the Thai government’s vision of bringing international expertise to Thailand.”

He met yesterday with Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan, who invited Siemens to bid for the 200-kilometre Bangkok-Rayong high-speed train project.

The government is considering four high-speed train routes linking the capital including Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Nakhon Ratchasima, but Mr Chatchart said the Rayong route is the most feasible.

Dr Grundmann said with 15 million residents in Greater Bangkok, the city can expect tremendous increases in its population. Half of Thais will live in urban areas by 2015, up from 20% now.

The Bangkok Mass Transit Development Plan calls for a construction of 12 mass transit lines covering a combine 545 kilometres of new track by 2019.

“With 500 people working in Thailand for Siemens, we’re here to stay,” he said.


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