Sino-Thai rail link set for 2-year, B4bn delay

Construction News
The Fuxing Hao CR300 train made by China’s CRRC, which will run between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. (Photo: State Railway of Thailand)

Sino-Thai rail link set for 2-year, B4bn delay

Local feedback sees stretch elevated

The construction of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project is likely to face a delay of two years and about 4 billion baht more in funding to change a section of track in Nakhon Ratchasima, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has revealed.

The change concerns contracts Nos.3-5, which deal with the construction of the Khok Kruat-Nakhon Ratchasima section, said SRT governor Nirut Maneephan on Monday, following calls by residents of tambon Ban Mai in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima to have a section elevated to mitigate the construction impact on their community.

Contracts 3-5 concern a 12.38-kilometre section of track, within which is the 7.85km stretch that would cost 4.7 billion baht more and require another 28 months to elevate.

Also, the design of another double-track railway from Map Kabao in Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi to Chira Junction in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima will have to be adjusted to accommodate any elevation of the Khok Kruat-Nakhon Ratchasima route, according to a source.

The first phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail linking Bangkok with Nakhon Ratchasima was to be 250.77km long, with 54.09km earmarked for elevation.

The whole project was costed at 179.41 billion baht, and 119.16 billion set aside for funding the 14 contracts needed to lay the tracks.

One contract has since been fulfilled, another 11 are underway, and the final two have yet to be signed with any contractors.

For the section in Ayutthaya, Mr Nirut said that the construction of a 13.3km section of the same highspeed railway known as the Ban Pho-Phra Kaeo section would have to continue, even though no conclusion has been reached as to what to do with Ayutthaya station, designed to be situated about 1.5km from Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The SRT is close to signing the construction contract with a contractor at a cost of 10.32 billion baht, he said.

While any sudden changes to this section, including rerouting it or digging a tunnel, could severely impact the project’s construction plan, this particular station might be excluded if no other better solution can be agreed upon, he said.