State Railway of Thailand agrees changes to design of Thai-Chinese high-speed train project

Construction News

State Railway of Thailand agrees changes to design of Thai-Chinese high-speed train project

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has agreed to adjust the design of a section of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project, in response to complaints from people in Nakhon Ratchasima province. The changes will result in additional construction costs and further delays in the project of at least two years.

According to SET Governor Nirut Maneephan, the section in question is in Ban Mai sub-district, originally planned as a ground-level track, which will now be changed to a 7.85km elevated section. It is part of the Kok Kruad-Nakhon Ratchasima link, under Contracts 3 to 5.

He said that the design change will cost an extra 4.7 billion baht and result in 28 months of delay.

Currently, Phase 1 of the project, from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, covering a distance of 250.77km, is under construction. The route comprises 188.68km of elevated track, 54.09km of ground-level track and 8km of tunnels. Investment is estimated at 170 billion baht.

The construction work on Phase 1 is divided into 14 contracts,12 of which have been signed between SET and contractors. Construction for one contract has been completed and the rest, for which contracts are signed, are still under construction.

Phase 1, which is part of the entire project from Bangkok to Nong Khai province in the Northeast, includes stations at Bang Sue, Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Pak Chong and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The situation of the Ayutthaya station remains unresolved, due to reservations from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONREPP) regarding the Heritage impact assessment (HIA). The SRT’s governor said that they will not conduct another HIA, as this would further delay the project and increase expense.

He also said, however, that SRT will try to explain the situation to the ONREPP, based on its previous HIA report.

The Thai and Chinese governments signed an MoU on December 19th, 2014 for the construction of the high-speed train project, covering a total distance of 609km. The project has, however, hit several snags, causing significant delays.